Six technicians with the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services, Midlands Province underwent artificial insemination (AI) training at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) as part of preparations for implementation of the Livestock Revitalisation Project in the province.
The project administered by the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) and funded by Mimosa is part of a national programme whose aim is to improve quality and quantity of rural livestock through the introduction of three African cattlebreeds namely Tuli, Mashona and Boran.
To date, the project has been implemented in Mashonaland East, Masvingo and Mashonaland Central provinces with a 55% success rate.
The AI course that was conducted from the 23rd to 27th of March 2020 included both theory and practical lessons on the procedure.
Zvishavane District Veterinary Officer, Dr Claudius Maguranyanga, who was part of the team expressed his gratitude to both ZAS and Mimosa for spearheading a programme that will see livestock in the district improve significantly.
He said cattle in the area had been affected by inbreeding thus the introduction of pure breeds will improve the genetics.
“The programme is not only benefiting the communities but our department as well because the technicians are now being equipped with training on AI. Mimosa also has a bulls programme in Zvishavane and with the introduction of AI to complement current programmes, the livestock will definitely improve,” said Dr Maguranyanga.
The training of technicians was done simultaneously with dipping of cattle in two selected dip tanks, Kromdraai and Zeederberg, where the insemination will be piloted.
To date three dipping sessions have been done at each dip tank.
As part of the set of activities, a radio programme which is part of the awareness and engagement with farmers is being aired on YAFM, with farmers calling in to interact with the veterinary experts.
Some 156 cows were identified during the selection process at Kromdraai dip tank and 86 have already been marked as ready while 60 were selected at Zeederberg.
The next stage is to carry out pregnancy diagnosis, which will then be followed by the insemination.
A target of 1000 straws has been set for the first phase of the artificial insemination programme this season.