Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

14 August 2014

Tanzania: Prison Improves Cattle Quality Through Cross-Breeding

Dodoma — KING'ANG'A Prison in Kondoa District, Dodoma Region, is cross-breeding through artificial insemination Borani and Tanzania Short Horn Zebu cattle with an intention of getting a hybrid for beef.

Assistant Inspector of Prison, Mr Issa Tumpale, who is in charge of the Artificial Insemination Department in Dodoma Region, told the 'Daily News' recently that the move was one of the prison's efforts to improve the quality of cattle.

He pointed out that on average a Tanzania Short Horn Zebu cow which had reached maturity weighed 200 kilos while a Borani could notch up to 500 kilos at maturity.

"By cross-breeding the two we shall have a hybrid which will weigh about 350 kilos, which is above the average weight of the Tanzania Short Horn Zebu cow," he said. Mr Tumpale noted further that the hybrid would further be cross-bred with the Borani to get a heavier hybrid with more beef.

"Our target is to impact the wider society that surrounds us so that one day Tanzania will have a big number of quality cattle," he said. He pointed out that livestock keepers were not much aware of artificial insemination, as a result the number of people demanding the service remained very low.

"We have on average been conducting about 100 artificial inseminations per annum, out of which 80 are done on our own cows and 20 are for people who come to seek the service from us," he said. Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, recently ordered all regional authorities to purchase quality bull semen for breeding through artificial insemination as a way to increase the value of livestock.

Mr Pinda noted that during his recent tour of Arusha Region he was told that the National Artificial Insemination Centre (NAIC) produces 150,000 units of bull semen per annum, but only half of that was being sold. "We cannot continue singing the song of quality livestock when bull semen units are not being bought.

Regional authorities should work on this and come next year all the semen produced in Arusha must have sold out," he said. Mr Pinda noted further that although the country had 22.8 million head of cattle, 15.9 million goats and 7million sheep, the contribution of the livestock sector to the GDP remained at a paltry 4.4 per cent, which was a reflection of the poor quality of livestock.

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