By Tony Rujuta
The National Animal Genetic Resource Centre and Databank (NAGRC&DB) has acquired a machine worth US$1.3 million to preserve livestock semen for artificial insemination.
The machine which produces Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) is being assembled at the NAGRC&DB offices in Entebbe.
It helps to preserve the semen and it is estimated to produce 89 litres of nitrogen per hour to serve over 79 Government and private artificial insemination satellite centres countrywide.
Presently, 2.5 percent of cattle farmers in the Uganda have embraced artificial insemination to improve their livestock breeds to boost their beef and dairy products output.
Recently, President Yoweri Museveni said that he targets to achieve the production of 20 billion litres of milk per year for the local, regional and international market.
Artificial Insemination instructor demonstrating the tools and the proper method of Inseminating Semen in a cow . photo by Tony Rujuta.Farmers in Mityana learning how to use a breeding calendar during a dairy and beef breeds improvement workshop for all technicians, community leaders and farmers at Kakindu in Mityana. PHOTO/Tony Rujuta.
Dr. Helen Nakimbugwe, the NAGRC&DB technical manager for breeding said that the agency operates 13 livestock ranches across the country to support the development of improved livestock breeds.
The Centre for Indigenous Development Efforts (CIDE), a non-governmental organisation is supporting farmers to improve their cattle breeds through artificial insemination in Kakindu, Mityana district.
NAGRC&DB and CIDES recently held a training workshop for Mityana livestock farmers to sensitise them on the use of artificial insemination.
Fr. Athanasius Mubiru, the CIDE boss said farmers need to organise themselves into farmer groups in order to boost bargaining and sharing knowledge.
Guernsey cows being feed on improved feeds that increase the production of Milk . PHOTO/ Tony Rujuta.
Aloysius Ssembatya, an insemination technician said that farmers complain of the high charges for artificial insemination services, but most of them don’t know the costs incurred in delivering the semen to the farms.
He added, “The issue is that farmers have breeds of cattle that take long to grow and produce little milk. The farmers should know how to get the right breed and feed them properly.”
Dr. Paul Mulindwa, the Mityana district veterinary officer complained that artificial insemination is unregulated by district authorities who don’t even know the number of qualified inseminators operating in the district.
Kenny Ssejjemba, an inseminator technician operating in the district noted that some of his colleagues never follow up with farmers after inseminating their livestock and don’t keep records of their clients.
Edward Sserajje, a farmer complained that inseminators are negligent and heifers fail to get pregnant because of poor quality semen, and insemination has to be repeated which is costly to farmers.