Village–based artificial insemination (AI) technicians have played a big role in increasing the efficiency of the Artificial Insemination Program of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) at Central Luzon State University.
Dr. Felomino V. Mamuad, PCC Director, thought of the idea of organizing and training village-based AI technicians in Nueva Ecija to make the technology accessible to farmers, because local government units have a limited number of AI technicians who could provide the services needed in the barangays.
According to Dr. Mamuad, barangays with high carabao population density were selected as priority areas and assessed based on the number of breedable female animals.
A consultation workshop was conducted prior to the program implementation, after which the would-be AI technicians underwent a month-long training on artificial insemination and pregnancy diagnosis.
The technicians were given AI equipment and supplies such as LN2, tanks, AI sheaths, gloves, liquid nitrogen and frozen buffalo semen, and taught to perform AI, monitor estrus, diagnose pregnancy and record breeding activities, including the calving performance of the inseminated animals.
In 2003-2006, 42 village-based AI technicians from the four districts of Nueva Ecija were trained, 3,628 breedable animals were examined and 3,328 were inseminated, with an average of 87.95% non-return to estrus and a conception rate of 63%.
The PCC, Dr. Mamuad said, promotes the Artificial Insemination Program to improve the lives of carabao owners by upgrading buffaloes to increase the milk production and improve the genetic make-up of the native carabao.
Artificial insemination offers an economically feasible means of increasing the productive and the reproductive performance of dairy buffaloes through the use of semen from genetically superior bulls, he added.