AI Brings More Profit to Central Visayas Farmers
The Central Visayas Region has the most number of livestock produced through Artificial Insemination(AI), the technology on depositing sperm usually of purebred or genetically upgraded male animal into the reproductive organ of the female animal.
According to the Bureau of Animal Industry, about 42 percent of the 15,687 AI offspring in the country during the 2006-2007 period were produced in the region. Common breeds used in the Al program were Simbra, Holstein, Brahman and Sahiwal for cattle, and Murrah and Bulgarian for carabao.
However, promoting the Al technology in the region had been not easy, said Rudito Mumar, regional Al coordinator. Most of the raisers initially feared that their female native animals might have difficulty delivering a big fetus. But this belief is unfounded because unborn animal adjusts to the size of the womb, just like what happens in humans.
In Borbon, Cebu, for instance, farmers there were initially hesitant to adopt the technology because they believe that artificially inseminated female animals might die while giving birth, said municipal agricultural officer Justo dela Cruz. What happened in Bohol was the opposite. Johnny Samson, provincial artificial insemination coordinator, said that it wasn’t hard to convince farmers to adopt Al since they already learned about its positive results in nearby provinces.
The good thing is that those who have tried have no regrets. One of them is Rico Salugaol of Borbon. Although he had doubts at first, he still had his cattle artificially inseminated as advised by Justo who is his friend. The first offspring that his cattle produced through Al was a Brahman breed, and he sold it for P18,000 when it was eight months old.
Actually, cattle raising is not Rico’s first agribusiness. It was piggery, which he started with a capital of r15,000. For five years now he has been earning an average of P70,000 per year from his piggery, and this income is now complemented by the profits he derived from selling offspring produced through Al.
Now that he earns a larger profit, he is able to provide well for his family. Through his income from cattle raising, he was able to remodel his house, and his daughter, Relma, was able to finish a nursing course.
In Lunop in Boljoon. Cebu, on the other hand, 35-year-old barangay kagawad Linda Villariza is grateful to former Al technician Nephaley Ceballos for introducing the Al technology to her. In fact, she just sold the nine-month-old offspring of her artificially inseminated cow at P18,000. She has two more Al offspring, and she will sell these when she needs to.
Another farmer in Boljoon who is happy with the introduction of AI to the province is Felix Villes. He said that his carabao, a cross between a native and Bulgarian breed that was produced through Al, can do heavier work than the native carabaos.
Mayor Exuperio Lloren and Vice Mayor Teofisto Pagar of Jagna, Bohol have been promoting Al also among their constituents because offspring produced through AI command a higher price. Vice Mayor Pagar said that with Al, farmers can shop for breeds as the available semen may be of two or three kinds of breeds.
On the other hand, Alfredo Adanza of Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental is grateful to Provincial Al Coordinator Jess Libby and Vice Mayor Mario Pinili for introducing the Al technology to him. Thanks to Al, Alfredo has bigger cattle offspring and hence, more income. He said that in their municipality, offspring produced through Al can be sold at 75 percent higher than the native animals.
These successes, says Joel Elumba, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 7 livestock coordinator, would serve as DA’s inspirations to continue the promotion of the Al technology so that more small-scale livestock raisers would earn bigger income for their families.