The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) say Nigerians consume about 360,000 tonnes of beef yearly. This conservative figure is projected to rise to 1.3 million tonnes per year by 2050, some 260 per cent increase.
In 2008, while he was still a veterinary medicine undergraduate, Okan Hembel bought a cow hump at the local market in Jalingo, Taraba State. He took this priced cut home in the hope of preparing a delicious meat dish for dinner. Instead of ending in the pot, the whole hump was thrown away.
“When I got home, I sliced the meat and I saw a deposit of antibiotics inside,” Hembel recalled. “There is a particular antibiotic drug which veterinary doctors administer to animals. It is whitish in colour. It’s called PenStrep. Either of these two antibiotics was responsible for that deposit.”