DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) officials in the Cagayan Valley said they are pushing artificial insemination (AI) to local government units (LGUs) as a means of expanding livestock production.

“Artificial insemination  of cattle represents the most successful sophisticated program of animal breeding ever implemented to improve the quality, productivity, and reproductive health of dairy cattle and other farm animals,” DA-Cagayan Valley Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo said.

“We are giving this a serious thought, including hog and poultry repopulation because Cagayan Valley is 98% sufficient for pork, 109% for chicken meat, 85% chicken egg, 212% for beef, 244% for carabeef, and 156% for chevon (goat meat),” he said.

Regional Livestock Program Coordinator Bryan S. Sibayan called AI a labor-intensive process that requires technical expertise.

“The overwhelming use of AI in many livestock species, most notably dairy cattle, swine, and carabao, suggests that the benefits of the technology outweigh the time and cost associated with it,” he added.

The DA said it is planning to promote AI to LGUs across the region.

“Significantly, many local chief executives are very interested in it. They initially inventoried the cow and carabao raisers, including small ruminants,” Regional Livestock Focal Person Demetrio D. Tang said.

The regional DA office has set a target of 320 inseminations for small ruminants and 3,680 for cattle.

It is also deploying AI technicians regionwide to assist with the project. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson