Zanzibar’s livestock resources include the many species of animals that have sustained the lives of its inhabitants for centuries by providing food (e.g. milk, meat, and eggs), draught power, and other animal byproducts. It also includes the feed resources and the management patterns that together shape the characteristic features of the strains and breeds of these animals as seen today.
Major species are cattle, goats, sheep, chicken, guinea fowls, muscovy ducks, and donkeys. Of these, cattle, sheep and goats are economically most important livestock species for most people in Zanzibar with chicken serving a subsidiary role. In addition to providing man with milk and meat, cattle, sheep and goats function as a form of wealth. People would often convert their liquid money into living heads of cattle, sheep or goats.
Both ecological and social conditions dictate the type and number of livestock to be found in a particular area. Herd sizes for cattle are higher for deep soil than for coral rag zone probably due to higher prospects for milk sales. Whereas cattle are equally dominant in both deep soil and coral rag zones, goats are a domain of the coral rag zone, and sheep are scarce, being found in only few areas. In contrast, goat herd sizes were higher in the coral rag zone due to the presence of favourable ecological conditions suitable for goat keeping. In general, cattle and chicken are found everywhere but more so in the deep soil areas on the western side of both islands (Unguja and Pemba).
It has been stated before (see geology), that the islands of Unguja and Pemba are geologically marine-based. No information is available about primary colonisation but there is a suggestion that most animals are similar to those available on the opposite coastal areas of the East African mainland. This hypothesis is based on the assumption that, at one time in history, Unguja was completely or nearly completely connected to the mainland and suitable habitat for animals existed on this strip of land that connected the island to the mainland. Such a connection is not known in the geological history of Pemba and the depth of the channel separating Pemba from both Unguja and mainland has often been considered a limiting factor for accessing and, ultimately colonizing this island with exotic animals. Yet the islands are filled with species, some completely missing on the mainland. Therefore, theory based on land connection fails to account for many species, e.g. the Red Colobus monkeys found in Unguja and the Flying-foxes of Pemba, which leads to a suggestion that colonisation of these islands with animals must have occurred through other sources not necessarily the East African mainland.
In general, human beings are thought to have introduced some animals, including predators, into the islands of Unguja and Pemba. The animals onto which their sources are well established include the crow, parakeet, civet, sparrow and perhaps the recent introductions of some livestock species. The source of these animals are countries bordering the Indian ocean such as India, Indonesia, countries of the Middle East and East Africa mainland. These introductions are historically accounted to a large extent by the political and commercial connection as facilitated by the Monsoon trade winds. While well-established information on animal introductions are present for non-livestock species, the sources for most livestock species that are well established are very recent, covering the period when cattle, sheep and goats were already present on the island. It therefore still remains a mystery what was the origin of animals present in Zanzibar from a very early date as suggested by earlier explorers. It is almost clear that human beings were responsible for livestock introductions but who and when it happened is not at present very clear but the influence of immigrants is enormous and it is highly likely that most of the livestock species found in Zanzibar today trace their origin to either ancient Arabia, India or the migratory routes on the mainland of Africa.
For example, thoracic-humped zebu cattle reached eastern Africa in large numbers following the Arab invasion of A.D. 669. This shows a connection between the migration of Arabs and their cattle into eastern Africa, of which Zanzibar is a part. Accepting this clause would tend to exclude other people (apart from the Arabs) in their connection with livestock introductions in Zanzibar. But the argument presented here concerns only thoracic-humped zebu cattle. Other sources point out that shorthorn cattle existed in Pemba long before the thoracic-humped zebu cattle. Furthermore, other information about the influence of Indonesians on East Africa in the form of items of material culture may have some implications on cattle of Pemba. This can be particularly true if the similarity is observed between the kind of tether used to restrain cattle in Pemba and that presented in other publications as used to restrain Bali and Madura cattle in Indonesia. In this way, the direct introduction of cattle from India to the offshore islands of eastern Africa could be justified particularly under the influence of the Monsoon trade winds.
It can be summarized from the preceding discussion that during the far historical past livestock, particularly cattle were introduced into Zanzibar by either immigrating Arabs through the horn of Africa or directly by the sea route from India. Judging from figures of the current livestock population, it may be suggested that the number of cattle, sheep, and goats introduced during that period might have been very low. This would be particularly true if we consider the fact that the long distance from South Arabia or India to Zanzibar might have limited the number of animals the migrating people could afford to carry along. Furthermore, this would suggest other possible historical epochs and subsequently other sources for livestock introduction into Zanzibar.
History recognises the period between 1500 and 1900 AD as the period of great maritime trade in the Indian Ocean. The Omanis played a dominant role in the history of East Africa through slave and maritime trade. During the 18th and 19th centuries with their headquarter in Zanzibar, they traded with the mainland of East Africa carrying large amounts of ivory, slaves and cattle. The tribal lands in the mainland of Tanzania visited by the Omanis include those of the Zigula, Nyamwezi, and the Gogo, some of which are famous in livestock keeping. Some Omani Arabs who visited these lands opted for farming and livestock keeping on the mainland of Tanzania using slave labour rather than the caravan trade. Although the information on livestock movements to Zanzibar is not clearly described in history books, it can be postulated that cattle and probably sheep and goats were taken by the Omanis from these tribal lands into Zanzibar during this period. Although the Omanis had full control of Unguja island since the time their empire started ruling the coast, their control of Pemba came very late. Pemba was more closely associated with Mombasa than Unguja in the period that preceded the Omani empire. Pemba was in important supplier of food for Mombasa and no wonder why it was called a “granary” for the rulers of Mombasa. It is possible that during the time when Pemba was allied to Mombasa livestock might have been shipped from the latter to the former.
During the colonial period of the 19th century, the importation of cattle, sheep, and goats into Zanzibar (particularly Unguja) for experimental, commercial production, and slaughter purposes has been widely reported. The sources of these animals during this period are countries on the mainland of eastern Africa particularly Kenya, Tanzania mainland, and Somali. Lastly, I have been particularly intrigued by the sheep found on Panza island as also mentioned by some early writers on Zanzibar. My discussions with villagers pointed out that the sheep of Panza island were introduced by some sea travellers who docked on the island sometime in the early nineteenth century. The villagers claim that they could discover the origin of the people as either from Somali or northern coast of Kenya as they spoke some dialect of Swahili language. Findings from the study by the present author indicate the presence of very few red sheep as explained by those early writers. This implies that the majority of sheep mentioned in history about this island have been eliminated and that the current population comprise of sheep introduced very recently.
-----------------------District----------------------- Micheweni Wete Chake Chake Mkoani Total Cattle: Bulls 3430 3101 2026 1956 10516 Cows 9341 6512 5370 4930 26143 Heifers 4182 3602 2074 2215 12073 Male calves 3431 2198 1530 1527 8686 Female calves 3400 2103 1702 1313 8518 Total 23784 17516 12702 11941 65943 Sheep: Male 35 44 19 7 105 Female 38 85 8 29 160 Total 73 129 27 36 265 Goat: Male 1547 564 381 616 3108 Female 3582 8222 1140 2591 15535 Total 5129 8786 1521 3207 18643 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Some of the causes for generic levitra online Discover More Here reduced semen load include improper secretion of hormones. However, most medical experts claim that such problems are taken care of as and when faced by any person. discount viagra pharmacy Generic version is 10 times cheaper than the branded purchase viagra online Get More Info of Pfizer. The effect of Tadalafil is not altered by the routine viagra online in uk of your food consumption. Source: MALNR (1993). Zanzibar Livestock Census 1992/1993, Preliminary Report. Department of Livestock. Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources, Zanzibar.
------------------------------- Year Unguja Pemba Total ------------------------------- 1913 4,614 6,534 11,148 1938 6,908 30,061 36,969 1944 7,251 - 7,2511 1947 6,640 27,668 34,308 1951 9,662 32,969 42,631 1960 16,233 31,525 47,758 1966 19,599 30,179 49,778 1978 28,225 31,915 60,140 1985 28,365 48,000 76,365 1993 45,750 65,943 111,693 ------------------------------- Source: Department of Livestock
The outcome of the different means onto which livestock entered Zanzibar and the subsequent exposures to climatic and management features existing in the islands of Unguja and Pemba is the occurrence of livestock population with some unique features from the founder population.
The Zanzibar Zebu, as cattle of these islands are called, is a variety of Small East African Zebu with some Indian, Somali and Boran influence. Their features include a well-developed hump and variability in colour patterns. Local Zebu is small reaching to a height of 125 cm at withers. They have small, flat horns and a pronounced hump. The commonest colours are light red, dun, black and grey, with roans and brindles fairly frequent. Adult bulls weigh on average about 320 kg and cows about 250 kg. It is generally believed that cattle in Unguja and Pemba are used for milk, beef and for traction. But the work done recently by the author observed cattle in Pemba serving as a living savings account to insure against unforeseen events. Pemba cattle are said to be better milkers than those found in Unguja.
Goats in Zanzibar belong to the Small East African Goat breed. They are small animals weighing about 21 kg with a height of about 59 cm at withers. In general, the larger proportion of goats are horned and the rest are polled. Dominant colours listed in order of their magnitude of proportion are reddish-brown, black, white, red and dun. There may be other colours occurring in combination with the predominant colours but nearly half of the population of goat have no other colour apart from the predominant colour. The greater proportion among those having other colour has black colouration appearing as patches, streaks, stripes or spots. The rest have either white or reddish-brown as the second colour.
Apart from the fact that sheep in Zanzibar are of the hornless, fatty tailed type, other descriptions do not necessarily fit to any of the sheep breeds in East Africa either on qualitative or on quantitative traits. However, the general comparison indicates the sheep in Zanzibar to be smaller than any of the sheep breeds in the region as described in various reports. The larger proportion of sheep in Zanzibar are white the rest have reddish colours. Their height at withers is about 55 cm and adults weigh up to 20 kg.
Livestock keeping in Zanzibar is a subsistence undertaking utilizing communal grazing grounds, mostly in the interseasonal cropping lands. To avoid conflicts with crop farmers, animals are restrained by tethers and free-range grazing is only possible on the drier coral rag zone. Livestock keeping is limited by a number of problems. Major problems include fodder shortages, diseases, and ticks and flies. Other problems often mentioned by farmers include lack of bulls for service, shortage of ropes for tethering animals, conflicts with crop farmers, shortage of water, and lack of important medicines against major diseases such as the East Coast Fever in cattle.
Zanzibar is undergoing radical economic changes. Whereas for a long time livestock keeping was considered a subsistence venture, the spillover effects from the growing population and the growth of the tourism industry have reshaped the size and direction of the livestock industry. The coral rags, which functioned in the past as livestock sanctuary for large herds of animals, are now the darling of the tourism industry and seaweed farming. Consequently, the grazing lands have become scarce and farmers have taken up new activities replacing the low- paying livestock keeping with easy liquid activities. On the other hand, the traditionally fertile deep soil areas have seen a rise in a more intensive form of livestock keeping, mainly in cattle and poultry production, in response to the high demand for milk, eggs and meat for feeding the chain of hotels in Zanzibar. Small-holder dairy and poultry production is on the rise throughout Zanzibar but shortages of milk and eggs are not uncommon due to high demand for these products. The sector is enjoying the fruits of liberalization from the clutches of the past where everything was in the mighty hands of the state. It is however also suffering from a number of problems as a result of the lack of government subsidies, hence making the prices of livestock products to skyrocket above and beyond the reach of most people who live under the poverty line.
In addition to economic consequences, the changing livestock industry has far-reaching implication to conservation. Intensification of production coupled with the use of artificial insemination is rapidly replacing the indigenous breeds of animals with exotic, resource-intensive breeds. The new breeds of animals require high-level management and a constant supply of expensive, medical care not affordable by the traditional, subsistence farmer. Therefore, while the new crossbreeding schemes seem to meet the challenge of producing enough milk, meat and eggs for the hungry population, the long-term cost to the environment may be very high. Zanzibar might lose its disease-resistant stocks that have survived for thousands of years under harsh conditions. This is an issue that should be addressed, sooner and not later, if Zanzibar wishes to conserve its indigenous livestock population.