By Lisa Masuku
Government has embarked on a pilot project at Matopo Research Institute to encourage farmers to adopt artificial insemination in cattle breeding with a view of increasing the national herd.
Speaking to ZBC News this Tuesday in Matopo at the official display of how artificial insemination is conducted, Director livestock research in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Mr Chamisa Andrew said government has embarked on the pilot project to encourage cattle farmers to complement the bull to cow ratio.
The programme which has been rolled out through a partnership between government and the European Union comes after it was established that there are few bulls compared to cows and heifers.
The process is also set to improve the quality of animals through the selection of high breed bull shots to transform the national herd that currently has fewer high breed animals.
“We are encouraging and training farmers to adopt artificial insemination to enhance the national head to 6million.”
Research officer at the Institute, Mrs Grace Tambo says artificial insemination is an effective way of increasing the national herd whose target is 6 million.
“Artificial insemination shortens the breeding time and one ejaculate can serve thousands.”
The breeds that are available through the artificial insemination pilot project are the Tuli, Brahman and Africanda, which are conducive to the national habitat in the Matabeleland region.
The project is expected to also help in commercialising the communal herd.