By Luke Anami
Dairy Farmers in the Rift Valley can afford a smile after the price of artificial semen that guarantees the birth of a female calf was reduced to Sh3,500 down from Sh7,000.
This follows the partnership between Dairy Biogenetics Company Indicus Ltd, a local firm and Viking Genetics from Denmark.
The two firms also launched an artificial insemination training programme alongside the provision of high-breed female guaranteed sexed- semen.
“For the first time we are getting farmers to get access to sexed semen which has been beyond the reach of many. Farmers no longer have to wait for nine months to know the sex of the calf, thanks to technology that comes with artificial insemination,” said Tim Chesire, managing director of Dairy Biogenetics Company Indicus.
“The sale of the semen is set to be accessible with follow-ups from the trained veterinary officers to small-scale farmers who want productive cattle, starting with as little as their only cow.”
Indicus Ltd has now made it possible for farmers acquire sexed- semen to upgrade their herd to high-breed livestock.
The sexed semen would be made available through veterinary officers who represent the Indicus and Viking Genetics Brands.
“The use of sexed- semen is set to increase the farmer’s efficiency in developing the herd in four years. Each year’s offspring will produce more milk before reaching high breed status in the fourth year,” Chesire said during the training held at Makongi Ayrshire farm.
He said cows produce in excess of 35 litres a day owing to careful selection of bulls over many years.
“High breed cows are able to produce more than 20 litres of milk.” The decision to lower the price of semen follows by failure by the Government to promote funded programmes that subsidised reproductive genetics for livestock in the Central Province all the way into the Rift Valley, which has meant poor milk production in the two regions.