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A path for livestock recovers

Opciones, 2019

The country has proposed to reach 52% of the females under the method of artificial insemination at the end of December 2019

At the Santana farm in Tapaste, province of Mayabeque, livestock producer Enrique Quintana Estévez follows the family tradition and takes care of his livestock from start to finish. But, eager to add knowledge to what he learned from his elders, he became a technician in insemination and today his herd does not have to wait for anyone when the cows come into heat.

Cebúa, Rojiza, Mariposa, Patilarga, Rosilla, Peruana and the India give him the signals and he enters into action to take advantage of the short term to apply two doses of semen, as established in the technical procedures manuals. The result is in the rustic building next to his house: healthy calves with good weight and cows that can give up to 18 liters of milk daily.

"Before, my animals did not have this size and this milk production. Now everything changed, a heifer in the first birth, can give between 10 and 12 liters of milk. Those who do not use artificial insemination, advise them to become inseminators and integrate into this world, because they will see how their livestock will change and they will not have to depend on anyone."

In addition to genetic improvement, he maintains, this method of reproduction is more hygienic and makes it possible to prevent diseases that can be transmitted by the bull, which results in superior results. "My strategy is not to have many cows but, fewer animals that have higher production."

This producer is one of the examples of the effectiveness of artificial insemination (AI), a practice that exists in state dairy farms and is promoted among private livestock owners, as part of the Integrated System of Attention to Reproduction (SIAR), approved by the Ministry of Agriculture in August 2017, taking into account that reproduction, together with nutrition, animal health and genetics is a decisive link in the recovery and development of livestock.

The legal norm establishes that cattle holders with more than 10 cows, that have either requested or have acquired lands in usufruct, within a maximum period of one year are obliged to implement the technology of artificial insemination whenever there are conditions for this service. It will be legally required in the usufruct land contract.

Between the aims of the system include raising the control of the reproduction in the companies of the country; increase the number of cows under artificial insemination, as well as coordinate the reproduction activity, including the training and updating of the inseminating technicians.

The Artificial Insemination Company is responsible for contributing to increase reproduction, guarantee the distribution of technical materials for artificial insemination in all species and the production of livestock identification means.

According to Enrique Navarro, general director of the company, the objective of the SIAR for 2019 is to reach 52% of the females suitable for reproduction in artificial insemination. "This work began in 2017, taking the starting data as a reference, modest progress has been made: 6.3% of AI females have grown."

The country began the application of the system with the existence of 423,598 vaccinated females assisted by this reproductive method. At the end of December 2018, it was possible to have 484,569 under this technology and the target for 2019 is 746,395. According to  Navarro, the most important thing of the program is that the decrease in female AI has been stopped.

According to the general director, 21,833 individual producers with more than 10 cows are registered to certify compliance with the genetic policy and 19,549 of them were visited, of which 18, 141 accepted to apply artificial insemination, which represent 93%. Currently, 1,231 (7%) are granted an exceptionality for the use of a stallion with genetic value. In these cases, registered stallions are offered or state hotspots created for this service with animals related to the approved genetic policy.

In addition to the voluntariness of the producers to apply the AI - there is still a need to visit 50,000 - other elements are required to make this process possible. According to Navarro, the country has a genetic bank of semen from the best specimens and the company produces bovine semen and other species each year, to meet the country's needs.

By 2019, the entity plans to produce 1,600,000 doses of high-value bovine semen.


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