By Ginika Okoye
The Kano State Government says it has trained 60 fulani youths on artificial insemination for livestock breeding including dairy cattle to boost milk and meat production.
Dr Nasiru Gawuna, the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said this while speaking with newsmen in Kano on Wednesday.
Gawuna said the training was aimed at replacing some of the animals that were killed at the height of terrorist activities in the state.
“The youths have been trained in artificial insemination. It is another area where the governor is giving so much attention.
“It has to do with livestock production and particularly milk and meat production.
“We took 60 Fulani youths to Turkey where they learnt skills on artificial insemination.
“They are back now; most of them are gainfully self-employed.
“Some of them have gone to other states.
“We have put aside two AI (artificial insemination) centres in the state – one in Makuda Local Government Area and the other one in Kadawa Local Government Area of the state.
“We want them to put a train-the-trainer kind of thing on artificial insemination in these places so that they can help other youths learn that aspect of livestock production.’’
Artificial insemination (AI) is the deliberate introduction of sperm into a female’s uterus or cervix for the purpose of achieving a pregnancy through in vivo fertilization by means other than sexual intercourse.
It is a fertility treatment for humans, and is a common practice in animal breeding, including dairy cattle and pigs.
Artificial insemination is used in many animals, including sheep, horses, cattle, pigs, dogs, pedigree animals generally, zoo animals, turkeys and even honeybees, for many reasons.
Some of the reasons include allowing a male to inseminate a much larger number of females, to allow use of genetic material from males separated by distance or time, to overcome physical breeding difficulties, and to avoid the need to keep a male at all.
On fertiliser, Gawuna said the gap between farmers and middle men had been bridged by the government.
According to him, fertiliser is a component that will solve 50 per cent of the challenges faced by farmers in the country.
The commissioner said the state had committed N500 million to the revival of its fertiliser blending company known as CASCO, which had been moribund over the years.
According to him, the aim is to ensure the production of affordable fertilizer all year round to encourage farmers to produce more.
Gawuna said the government was also sourcing improved and quality seeds for farmers to enable them to improve production.
The commissioner stated that the state government in collaboration with different international organisations has also trained 749 youths in extension services to sensitise rural farmers to sound agronomic practices.
He assured farmers that the state government is determined to provide all the necessary inputs required to boost agricultural production in the state.