N Dama Cattle Conservation: The Potential Roles of Artificial Insemination and the National Policy

Olaniyan, Olawale Festus, Hiemstra, Sipke-Joost
2012 Journal of Social and Development Sciences   unpublished
Regular access to genetically superior bulls from an open nucleus breeding system is an impetus for N'Dama cattle utilization and conservation. However, shortage in the number of bulls that could be distributed to the farmers for subsequent breeding remains a challenge in some countries of West Africa. In this regard, the potential benefit of artificial insemination (AI) and the roles of national policy were assessed. The open nucleus-breeding scheme of International Trypanotolerance Center
more » ... olerance Center (ITC) in the Gambia was used as a case study and the research questions were answered with literature review, focus group discussion, and Likert-scale questionnaire. Introduction of AI into the breeding scheme of N'Dama cattle can create higher selection intensity and promote a wider dissemination of genetic gain made at the nucleus. With improved AI techniques, a better use of improved N'Dama bulls can be achieved. Notwithstanding, there are concerns about low pregnancy rate, quality of the semen, inadequate knowledge of AI technicians, and the regular availability of quality bulls. For the Gambian national policy, the environmental component is the most relevant for conservation of N'Dama cattle. This can be buttressed with more flexibility and a clearer communication of the objectives through workshops and local media.