Tanzania Daily News Dar es Salaam
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

Two American firms, Worthington Industries and Global Good are expected to introduce Artificial Insemination (AI) shield with the aim of revolutionising the livestock sector in the country.

African Breeders Services Managing Director, Mr Nathaniel Makoni, said in a statement yesterday that through AI adoption, livestock breeding becomes easier and safer, the technology reduces the spread of venereal diseases in the farm stock.

The introduction of the technology will feature during the seminar involving key government officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Development, Veterinary doctors, scientists and other key stakeholders in the livestock and dairy industry in Tanzania.

« The success of AI technology hinges on paying special attention to cow fertility, inseminator efficiency, heat detection accuracy and semen fertility, » he said. AI technology entails collection of semen from the male and introducing into the female reproductive tract using instruments.

In livestock breeding, semen from superior and tested sires including bulls is collected and used for AI. Many dairy farmers in East, South and West Africa have adopted AI technology to improve the quality and productivity of their dairy breeds but the technique rarely yields good conception rates due to poor control of the factors that affect conception that is semen handling in particular.

Dr Makoni attributed the low conception rates to AI service providers who lift the semen holding canister out of the liquid nitrogen refrigerator tank and expose the bull semen that thaws within 10 seconds of ambient temperature exposure. Global Good carried out studies that brought about the AI Shield technology to protect bull semen during smallholder AI delivery.

The invented technology reduces AI failures by protecting frozen bull semen from adverse temperature fluctuations common in removing the canister from traditional cryogenic refrigerators.

The innovative thermal protection guards’ temperature swings for improved semen viability, higher conception rates and increased cattle productivity. Worthington Industries continues manufacturing cold chain storage and transportation equipment used in biobanking, fertility, genetic therapy and animal husbandry, among others.

The AI shield technology will adequately address the key factors of semen exposure, resulting in greater success of AI, improved calves and future increased milk production. With this new technology, the percentage of conception is expected to improve from 40 per cent to 80 per cent by the year 2017.

« We expect that the AI Shield will, substantially improve the quality of cattle breed we have in Tanzania and I believe our farmers will now be able to increase their milk yields. The AI shield is the good news we have been waiting for, for quite some time now » added Dr Makoni.

The AI Shield technology was displayed at the recently finished ESADA conference in Kigali Rwanda and through seminars will be launched in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda this November.