Mankind has for many centuries depended substantially on animals, not only for food, but also for a wide variety of animal by-products and services. Livestock provide all the milk and meat consumed worldwide.
In Kenya, as in many developing countries, the share of agriculture in GDP is important, with the average for all countries in Tropical Africa being 29%. The contribution of the livestock sector to the total GDP however, is only 5%. Although a number of production systems aim at increasing meat and milk production, they are confronted by a number of constraints, notably animal diseases and poor reproductive efficiency. The Government of Kenya and a few non-governmental organizations have in recent times initiated projects and programmes aimed at improving livestock health and productivity.
As a result of increasing human population and diminishing farm sizes, there is a need for manpower with current and specialized knowledge, skills, and attitudes in practically oriented extension services.