The Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) on Thursday relaunched its Artificial Insemination (AI) in small ruminants programme.
The programme which formed part of the agency’s 2021 capital budget, included the procurement of the laparoscopic equipment and training of staff after the agency would’ve signed a contract with Mini Tube Germany to the tune of $15 million.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of GLDA, Dr Dwight Waldron said that the programme is seen as a relaunch since farmers will now be given access to high-class genetic materials
“We would have done some amount of laparoscopic AI about a decade ago but that was with a limited amount of animals with a specific purpose. It was not intended to be disseminated throughout the country. We imported some high-class genetic breeding animals for the programme. Those animals went through an extensive exercise because we would normally extract semen from them,” Dr Waldron stated.
The acting CEO further explained that the agency has adopted a strategic approach so that in addition to having access to high-class genetic material, farmers are also given guidance on how to improve their production techniques and productivity levels.
He noted that “farmers now have a chance to be in a position to do business and market their product in such a way that they can make more money”.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha in his remarks at the exercise said that the aim of the programme is to modernise and strengthen small ruminant development in Guyana while addressing food and nutrition security challenges in the region.
“This programme comes at a time when Guyana’s agriculture sector is taking precedence on the world stage. While artificial insemination in Guyana started in the 90s for dairy and beef, it was in 2011 that we commenced the importation of proven sires for beef. As we continued to diversify, the swine artificial insemination programme followed in 2016. Today we are here to re-launch artificial insemination (AI) in sheep and goats with the aim to modernise and strengthen small ruminant development in Guyana so that the sector can better meet the challenges of addressing food and nutrition security,” the Minister expressed.
Minister Mustapha also said that over the next 12 months, the GLDA will be tasked with refocusing its AI programme with a view of increasing its AI offspring production target by 45 per cent to 50 per cent.
Guyana has been producing meat from beef, mutton, and other meats for local consumption.
Since taking office just over a year ago, the Government has invested billions of dollars to improve Guyana’s livestock industry.
Of the $806 million allocated to the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), $407.2 million was expended by the first half of this year to spur production in the meat industry.