AI shield technology to be launched today
It protects semen, which is damaged within five seconds of exposure. It is expected to result in better milk production
A new artificial insemination technology for safer semen handling and exposure has been developed. The Artificial Insemination shield technology will improve the quality of breeds and reduce the spread of venereal diseases in livestock. It will be introduced today during a seminar at the Panafric Hotel, Nairobi.
Dr Nathaniel Makoni said the technology’s success hinges on paying special attention to semen fertility, inseminator efficiency, heat detection accuracy and cow fertility. He is the African Breeders Services Total Cattle Management Ltd managing director.
Scientific experiments have shown that semen cells are damaged within five seconds of exposure, significantly reducing fertility. “Semen handling and exposure under smallholder delivery systems remain a serious problem that reduces conception rates by up to 60 per cent,” Makoni said in a statement.
“This is attributed to AI service providers who lift the semen holding canister out of the liquid nitrogen refrigerator tank and expose the bull semen that thaws within 10 seconds of ambient temperature exposure.”
He said many dairy farmers in East, South and West Africa have adopted AI to improve the quality and productivity of their dairy breeds. But the technique rarely yields good conception rates due to poor control especially in semen handling, he said.
“The AI shield technology will adequately address the key factors of semen exposure, resulting in greater success of AI, improved calves and future increased milk production. With this new technology, the percentage of conception is expected to improve from 40 to 80 per cent by the year 2017.”
Government officials from the Agriculture ministry, veterinary doctors, scientists and other key partners in the livestock and dairy industry are expected at the launch.
Experts perform artificial insemination on cows in Homa Bay during the launch of the AI programme on June 26