Dec 31, 2012 News Comments Off on Artificial Insemination Lab produces 548 new animals
With the use of the 14,000 straws of pure bred semen which was imported from the United States of America at a cost of US $20 to US $30 per straw, specialists at the recently commissioned Artificial Insemination Lab at Mon Repos were able to produce 548 new animals.
This was done by the Ministry of Agriculture under the arm of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) in an effort to ensure food security, as well as making way for the future exportation of local produce, including meat.
Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy had explained that if Guyana wants to enhance its economy and ensure food safety, producing meat of better size and quality is vital. Thus, high quality genetics is the way forward, as it will enable local scientists to produce better breeds of animals that are of international standards.
Ramsammy, during his year end briefing on the Agriculture Sector last Saturday, promised that the year 2013 will see an increase in the importation of animals for the purpose of creating better breeds, which will later result in Guyana being more able to export its meat instead of importing it.
Guyana he says has the largest Imported Food Bill in the Caribbean. In this regard, the artificial insemination initiative was set up under the Agriculture Diversification Programme (ADP).
The ADP is there to establish services and institutions for a sustainable increase in the income derived from the export of non-traditional agricultural exports in the aquaculture, fruits and vegetables, and livestock sub-sectors.
It was under this programme that 33 bulls were imported from Florida at a cost of $26M
These bulls are of the species- Brahman, Beef Master, and Brangus. Each cost roughly about $800,000. These bulls are commonly used for breeding and meat purposes.
The Semen of these animals were all extracted, evaluated, preserved, and processed at the Artificial Insemination Lab, a multi-million dollar facility located in the GLDA compound, Agriculture Road, Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara.
The facility itself totals $28.2M. It was funded by the Government of Guyana, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). It was only commissioned in October last, and Ramsammy during his briefing Saturday, gave the project a success rate of 20-30 percent.
It was also listed in the Ministry’s yearend report as one Guyana’s Agricultural accomplishments.
Ramsammy pointed out that during the short period of time, scientists were able to conduct 31 embryo transfers, using local animals as surrogate mothers for these high standard genetics.
The Minister had said that these initiatives are just pieces to the puzzle which is to tackle the global issue of food security in a more comprehensive manner, so that Guyana never has to face the issue of food shortages, or substandard produce.
Ramsammy promised that come 2013, the Agriculture Ministry will be working tirelessly to pave the way for great food exportation.
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