Goat raising made more profitable through AI

depositing the semen into the cervix of the doe in heatGoat raising is a practical livestock-based enterprise that requires minimal investment but guarantees a return of investment in a short period of time. However, the lack of quality breeder stock and the high cost of breeding activities are some of the constraints that cause the low rate of local goat production.

The price of goat is mainly determined by its genetic size and weight. When it reaches its marketable age, usually at eight months, a native goat, which can weigh 16 kilos, can fetch a price of Php1,600. Meanwhile, an upgraded goat or a goat of good breed, usually weighing 30 kilos, can be sold at double the price.

If a farmer wants to improve the genes of his goats, he needs guaranteed goat breeders. Unfortunately, bucks frequently cost a lot more and are hard to find. Now, with the use of Artificial Insemination (AI), the same benefit is within reach of entrepreneurs.

AI is one of the best technologies being used today as an alternative to natural breeding. It is used to fast-track the dissemination of genetic materials from quality breeders to improve the blood composition of farm animals.

In AI the frozen semen from a buck is thawed and inserted into the cervix of a doe in heat

Although AI is more widely-used for cattle and swine, it has promise for goat breeding. It is still not being adopted by the goat raisers due to: 1) unavailability of processed semen, 2) lack of trained inseminators, and 3) absence of a viable industry to support the commercialization of the technology.

To address these constraints, the Cagayan Valley Small Ruminants Research Center (CVSRRC) of the Isabela State University implemented a project in 2012 titled, “Commercialization and Institutionalization of Artificial Insemination for Goats Delivery System in Cagayan Valley”. Funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), this initiative is headed by Dr. Jonathan Nayga of CVSRRC with the main hope of upgrading local stocks that would make the technology accessible to target clients. Specifically, the project aims to increase the production of processed goat semen intended for AI and to train more technicians who will facilitate the delivery of insemination services to intended clients.

Six years after, the project is now producing benefits not only to direct beneficiaries but the goat industry as a whole. After the development of AI protocols, the project was able to sustain the upgrading of stocks for the production of quality slaughter goats in the Cagayan Valley region through technology commercialization and institutionalization activities.

Increased availability of frozen semen

In AI, frozen semen from a buck is thawed and then inserted or deposited into the cervix of a doe in heat. If the necessary equipment is available, the use of frozen semen is much less expensive than paying a breeding fee.

For this project, the ISU-AI Goat Semen Processing Laboratory was tapped for semen processing. Part of the project activities was the purchase of breeder bucks of pure breed to increase the production of processed frozen semen.

As part of the commercialization initiative, the laboratory at ISU is selling frozen semen of Boer, Anglo-Nubian, and Toggenburg breeds to private raisers and commercial farms. Much of these genetic materials have already reached parts of Northern Luzon and even Central Visayas.

Support to commercialization

Thawed semen that will be inserted into the cervix of the doe

The stored frozen semen is sold to raisers and technicians outside the region who are conducting AI. Each semen straw is sold at Php 300.

With this commercialization project, different business portfolios have been developed. These portfolios serve as guides for animal technicians in making this service provision into a livelihood. Different services offered range from provision of insemination services to large or small ruminants, to administration of biologics, and even semen processing.

At present, more than 240 backyard raisers in 21 municipalities of Cagayan Valley have already benefitted from this project in terms of improved stocks without even purchasing a breeder buck.

Establishment of AI laboratory

Prior to this project, BAR funded an Institutional Development Project in 2002 at ISU specifically for the establishment of an AI Laboratory. The establishment of this facility paved the way for many basic researches to be conducted improving further the semen processing and application of AI the region.### (Rita T. dela Cruz)

Copyright © Bureau of Agricultural Research 2018. All Rights Reserved

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.