A Don, Prof. Hassan Mai, has called for the adoption of Artificial Insemination (AI) on
local cattle to improve animal breeding and nutrition to boost food security in the country.
Mai, who is the Director, Dairy Research and Development, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi,
made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Bauchi.
He said that Artificial insemination (AI) is one of the most efficient tools available for dairy farmers to boost livestock yield.
NAN reports that Artificial Insemination is the manual placement of semen in the reproductive tract of the female by
a method other than natural mating for reproduction purpose.
The chief priority is that the desirable characteristics of a bull or other male livestock animal can be passed on more quickly and
to more progeny than if that animal is mated with females in a natural fashion.
The director, therefore, said “rather than just an alternative way of impregnating cattle, it is a method of livestock enhancement.
“In artificial insemination, semen from bulls of superior quality is collected and used to inseminate females to conceive
offspring with desired traits, such as high milk yield and disease resistance specie.”
The don, who encouraged the adoption of AI to see the development of productive cattle population, added that
the country’s indigenous cattle are naturally small and milk production is often just enough to feed a calf.
He said “cattle production is aimed at meat production, but with economic growth and a rising population, the demand for
milk has increased, driving government and citizens to prioritise milk production.
“Therefore, with improved genetics, cattle can inherently produce more meat and milk than local breeds, but also require
better feed to meet the genetic potential.”
The don, who expressed concern over the lack of modern infrastructure and technology in dairy farming in the country, stressed that
animal dairy plays a significant role in Nigeria’s economy.
He added that “by providing essential products such as milk, cheese, butter and yogurt, the nutritional needs of the
teeming population will be met.
“In spite of these challenges, however, efforts are being made to enhance dairy farming through the introduction of modern
equipment and training programmes for farmers in many areas across the country.”