Bomi Fagbemi Writes on Unlocking the Potential Impact of Artificial Insemination in Nigeria’s Dairy Sector
Artificial insemination (AI) is one of the most efficient tools available for dairy farmers worldwide to boost livestock yields. Rather than just an alternative way of impregnating cattle, it is a method of livestock enhancement. In artificial insemination, semen from bulls of superior quality is collected and used to inseminate females to conceive offspring with desired traits, such as high milk yield and disease resistance. Artificial insemination increases the efficiency of bull usage as semen collected from bulls can be diluted to make hundreds of doses from one ejaculate. These doses can be easily transported and stored over long periods, allowing for a single bull to be responsible for the insemination of many cows regardless of their location. The usage of artificial insemination is also extremely cost-effective as farmers are spared the expenditure of maintaining and breeding bulls. The transmission of disease between mating cows is avoided as well, as the semen used for AI is inspected for quality and monitored for infections. The wide-scale adoption of AI in Nigeria would see the development of a more productive cattle population. Currently, Nigerian cows produce an average of 1 litre of milk a day which is a negligible quantity when compared to cows in the USA for example, where cows yield 28 litres a day on average.
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