An embryo transfer center worth Ksh. 600 million is to be established in Eldoret for Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Center (KAGRC) to enable farmers access artificial insemination services for the next three years.
The Embryo center will increase the number of offspring that a genetically superior cow can produce under the new Embryo transfer technology (ET).
The transfer involves Multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET).
It is also known as in vivo embryo production and in vitro embryo production processes.
(KAGRC)Managing Director Dr. David K. Kios says MOET is the process that involves the superovulation of donor cows.
Using hormones to increase the number of ova ovulated followed by insemination and flushing of the uterus to recover the embryos.he said.
To add to that, Dr. Kios says the adoption of the ET technology by most dairy farmers has been low though it has been practiced on a small scale for over 30 years in Kenya.
He attributes it to a few trained professionals in ET and lack of infrastructure for the technology.
As well as the prohibitive cost of importing embryos into the country.
Further, Dr. Kios is optimistic that the product will improve if the technology is transferred to small-scale dairy farmers.
The reproductive potential of a cow could be enormously enhanced considering the numerous viable ova (approximately (200,000) they contain in their ovaries.added Kios.
Additionally, the center will focus on artificial insemination.
In the process, hundreds of offspring are realized.
Compared to natural mating, where an average cow will have one calf per year.
Indicating production of eight to ten calves by a cow in a lifespan.
Moreover, embryo transplant will increase Dairy production.
Since a single cow will produce over 70 liters in a day through the heifers to be realized through artificial insemination.
Nevertheless, the government expects 10,000 heifers born and transferred to farmers.
Currently , the country produces 5.2 billion litres of milk annually.