News and knowhow for farmers

Government to establish livestock Embryo Transfer facility to boost breeds

dairy cows shed

The national government is set to establish a livestock Embryo Transfer (ET) facility courtesy of a grant from the Polish government in a bid to improve existing breeds in the country.

The facility, to be equipped with state of the art technology will help in the production of high-quality breeds to enhance production and reposition the sector as a key player in the economy.

According to Harry Kimutai, Livestock Principal Secretary the facility will add to the existing livestock improvement programs being implemented in the country to ensure that products from the country compete effectively globally.

“We have already worked on the concept and we are just waiting for the National Treasury to allocate funds so that we implement the project. We have also received a grant from the Polish government who have been supporting us to develop the sector, “said the PS.

Embryo transfer (ET) refers to the process of assisted reproduction where embryos are placed into the uterus of a female with the intention of establishing a pregnancy.

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Advances in embryo technology are extremely useful in species such as cattle which typically produce less than one calf per year.

Kenya banks on the advanced technology to address the quality of breeds in the country and scale up production to boost food security and empower farmers economically.

The PS said the country was ahead of her regional counterparts in livestock production pointing out two modern semen production centers at Kabete and Kitale which have put Kenya on the international map.

He said the country has indigenous zebu breeds and other improved breeds adding that with the introduction of ET, the fort Farmers, he said have been given a free hand to import new breeds to add onto the existing ones to help boost production.

“This is one of the new measures we have put in place to encourage the private sector to participate in livestock development and production,” said the PS.

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Other ventures targeting the private sector he said is promotion of feedlots systems where farmers fatten cows for meat.

Through this, he said the government plans to set up Special Economic Zones (SEZ) targeting livestock production as one of the measures to promote the sector.

The PS made the remarks in Kisumu on Tuesday during a public participation meeting on the draft Livestock bill 2018.

The bill which is expected to be tabled in parliament when it resumes sittings proposes a raft of measures to streamline operations in the sector. Uses of the sector were bound to change.

Among the proposals is the establishment of a Livestock Marketing Board to help market livestock products locally and on the international market.

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Another proposal is the establishment of the Kenya School for animal Sciences which shall combine all the existing training institutions within the livestock industry.

The bill also proposes a regulatory board for inputs, animal feeds and product quality like honey and other animal products that have had no regulators before.

The bill further seeks to incorporate existing institutions that are not in substantive law like the Kenya animal generating resource center, the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute (KVVPI) and the Kenya Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Council which only exist in legal notices.

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