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

The Star (Kenya) - - News General - AGATHA NGOTHO @agath­ang­otho

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.

POOR HAN­DLING

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.

/HA­BIL ONYANGO

Ex­perts per­form ar­ti­fi­cial in­sem­i­na­tion on cows in Homa Bay dur­ing the launch of the AI pro­gramme on June 26

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