By Herbert Musoke
Livestock farmers have called upon the government to subsidize on the cost of sexed semen and other technologies in the industry to help them maximize profits.
Dr. Patrick Ssekimpi the chairman of Dairy farmers Network, commended URUS international who is one of the private sector players for the new technologies they have introduced aimed at improving the breed of both the dairy and beef livestock for increased production and productivity.
The overwhelming numbers that flocked URUS stalls at the recently completed Harvest Monet Expo at Kololo, prompted its management to organize a training for farmers to answer their queries and also get clear information about their products.
Dr. Ssekimpi is one of the hundreds of livestock farmers who attended the intermitters’ training organized by URUS at Kolping hotel at Bwaise in Kampala aimed at training them in the proper insemination procedures and new technology used for early pregnancy detection.
“For a long time, we have been losing money for not having the proper technologies. Now that URUS has brought these technologies nearer to us, we are asking the government to subsidize the cost especially for sexed semen which is at 99% conception rate since our money as dairy farmers is from heifers but also the pregnancy testing kits,” he cried out.
Dr. Hamid Rutaro the URUS African region manager said that, URUS is a global breeding company comprising all renowned companies in the breeding business world wide aiming at improving genetics through elite bulls’ semen and embryo transfer.
“This training was organized to take through farmers the traits to look out for while selecting semen to service their cows, how to test their cows’ pregnancies in 28 days from the date of servicing and the proper feeding of animals for better production,” he says.
He says that URUS explains that they have over 10 breeds from America and other renowned countries in the world that produce high milk producing bulls that can be used by farmers to improve their hard to produce up to 45 liters of milk a day.
“We also have semen for beef cattle including the most expensive Kobe-beef breed cattle. Also, we have pregnancy testing kits other than waiting for cows to go back on heat as a sign of a failed conception, which leads farmers to losses because a cow may take about 3-4 months which means you will take close to two years to get another calf,” she adds.
Marnix Weeda, the African regional sales manager for Alertys working under URUS, says that farmers no longer need to wait for the heat to determine if their cows are conceived since a vet inserting their hand to check can cause miscarriages before three months.
“Use technologies, farmers can test their cows for pregnancies within 28 days on their farms as and when need arises. This will go a long way to increase production on farmers as open animals can then be prepared to go back on heat and get serviced,” he says.
He also cautions farmers on the general management of their herd in regards to feeding (pastures and water availability) and the animal health saying that even with good breeds but when the management is poor, production will be low.
What is sexed semen?
Semen having sperms to produce more progenies of a desired sex (with about 80-90% accuracy) is known as sexed semen. It is reported that use of sexed semen gives 80-90% accuracy as compared to conventional semen straws where male: female ratio is about 50:50.