Government has launched the biotechnology and advanced cattle reproductive technologies programme being implemented by the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT).
The programme’s main objective is to help in the national livestock restocking agenda following the depletion of the cattle herd by more than 2 million over the past 2 decades.
The advanced cattle reproductive programme hinges mainly on the use of biotechnologies to improve breed genetics through artificial insemination from high value pedigree bulls.
The university has 12 bulls for the roll out of the artificial insemination programme, while an appropriate storage facility, the germ plasm laboratory has been established at the campus.
Launching the programme, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira said universities should now adopt a new thrust whose focus should be on production of goods and services through innovation and industrialisation.
CUT Vice Chancellor Professor Simbi emphasized the need to further capacitate the institution’s department of animal production with the immediate requirement being the setting up of a liquid nitrogen plant.
Liquid nitrogen is used in the storage of semen at freezing temperatures.
For Permanent Secretary of Higher and Tertiary Education Professor Fanuel Tagwira, agriculture fuels growth in all the other sectors of the economy, with projects such as the one launched at CUT providing opportunities for both the young and the old to play a role in the food value chain.
Among those who attended the launch of the biotechnology and advanced cattle reproductive technologies were the Deputy Ministers of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Vangelis Haritatoes and Douglas Karoro and several members of parliament.