Chinhoyi University Starts Cattle Artificial Breeding For Mhangura Farmers

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

CHINHOYI University of Technology (CUT) has rolled out a cattle artificial insemination exercise to farmers in Mhangura in a bid to improve the quality of the local herd.

At least 20 resettled farmers are set to benefit from the project bankrolled by ZB Bank.

Artificial insemination is the collection of sperm cells from a bull, which are deposited manually into the reproductive tract of a cow when it is in heat.

The launch of the project was held Tuesday at Livingston Farm, Mhangura.

Throughout the next week, at least 40 heifers will undergo screening to ascertain they are not in-calf before they are injected with hormones to get them in heat.

Thereafter, the desired semen will be administered on the heifers which will be subjected to monitoring until they deliver their off-springs.

CUT Professor of Agricultural Sciences and Technology,

James Madzimure said the university was pursuing the artificial insemination project as part of the government’s Education 5.0 programme that emphasises the need for the production of practical goods and services.

Madzimure said: “The aim of this project is to enhance the quality of cattle, in terms of physical stature and quality of beef and milk production. The quality we currently have is generally inferior because we have situations where a heifer breeds with its off-spring which is undesirable.”

“The university has 12 bull breeds which include Brahman, the East African Boran, Tuli and the Mashona whose semen will be administered on local heifers to improve the herd.”

ZB Bank official, Ignatius Musendo said the financial institution was delighted to partner with CUT in undertaking the noble project, which aims to uplift the livelihoods of newly resettled farmers pursuing animal husbandry.

He reiterated ZB Bank’s commitment to working with and financing farmers.

The financial institution funded the procurement of materials needed in carrying out the procedures, and will also bear the monitoring and evaluation costs.

One of the beneficiaries, Daniel Paucheni Masango expressed gratitude to CUT and ZB Bank for extending the project to Mhangura farmers.

“I thank the university and ZB Bank for this project which will go a long way in improving our herd which had been depleted by diseases like the recent January Disease (Theileriosis) outbreak. It’s hoped local farmers will derive immense benefits and engage in meaningful animal husbandry like they do in the Matebeleland region.”

Zimbabwe National Farmers Union (ZNFU) trustee, Dorothy Nyahondo underscored the need for land reform beneficiaries to contribute to the resuscitation of the depleted national cattle herd and improve beef quality and milk production by embracing artificial insemination programmes.

The country’s national artificial insemination programme seeks to improve the national herd through the cross-breeding of indigenous cattle breeds with exotic ones.