For two days, Nalongo Jane Babalanda’s dairy cow was on heat. She continuously called the area artificial insemination (AI) technician but he was nowhere to be seen.
“I called him on Tuesday and he told me he was coming, but he is not here. It seems the cow is now loosing heat,” she laments.
A cow on heat makes a lot of noise, it is nervous and restless, has a mucus discharge from the female parts, with a reddening and swelling vulva.
Babalanda’s predicament is common to many farmers across the country.
“Getting an AI technician is difficult. In addition, when the technicians come, the cow may not even conceive because the semen is dead,” she says.
Bright Rwamirama, the Minister of State for Agriculture in charge of Animal Industry, said this inconsistence among AI technicians must stop.
“We cannot work towards developing the livestock sector when we do not have these technicians in the field,” he said. Rwamirama made the remarks while handing over AI equipment to 33 AI technicians at National Animals Genetics Resources Centre (NAGRC), Entebbe. The equipment included an AI three-litre tank filled with liquid nitrogen and semen, a universal AI gun, a semen straw cutter, tweezers and semen flask, among others. NAGRC recently acquired 60 AI liquid nitrogen cylinders out of which 33 were handed out. The technicians were selected from across the country.