Socio-economic Values and Performance of Zebu Cattle Indigenous in Ukerewe and Bunda Districts of Tanzania
Socio-economic values and performance of indigenous cattle were compared between Ukerewe and Bunda districts. Crops and livestock were among major sources of income and food for households in the study area, but fishing was another significant source of income and food in Ukerewe than Bunda. Fishing was reported as important source of income and food by 22.4% and 18.5% of the respondents in Ukerewe and Bunda districts respectively. Forty six purposively selected households were interviewed on socio-economic attributes. Body weights from adult cattle owned by randomly selected 169 households were taken. Data were analyzed using ANOVA procedures of SPSS programme. Frequencies and crosstabs were generated and analysed. With the exception of sheep whose importance was low and restricted by social-cultural factors in Ukerewe, generally cattle numbers were higher (about 12.6 higher) in Bunda than in Ukerewe. Cattle were ranked the first in importance among livestock in both districts and sheep were ranked second by 30% of the respondents in Bunda district only. Sheep were rarely kept in Ukerewe due to society beliefs. Cattle were valued more as draught animals in Bunda district of which 20.8% of the households had draught animals. In Ukerewe cattle was kept mainly for meat purpose. In general, all the socio-economic attributes of cattle studied showed a significant association with households’ purposes. Nonetheless Ukerewe cattle performance in terms of meat body conformation was superior over Bunda cattle. It can be conclude that indigenous cattle were highly valued by owners because of the ethnic socio-cultural values.