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Ministry of Agriculture, Belize Livestock Producers Association going ahead with embryo transplant system to improve Belize’s beef cattle production

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Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2021. 8:13 pm CST.

Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) and the Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) are working hand in hand in introducing an embryo transplant system which would facilitate and speed up Belize’s production of higher beef cattle to satisfy the need of the local and international markets.

Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise Jose Abelardo Mai said Belize is exporting Nelore and Brahman cattle to Guatemala and Mexico, but the Brangus breed would give the livestock producers better returns.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and BLPA in close collaboration with BAHA is supporting the introduction of Embryos of Black Angus and Braford for the development of the cattle Industry to increase productivity and quality of beef meat through Embryo Transfer technology,” said the Principal Agriculture Officer and Livestock Director Belarmino Esquivel.

“A genetic improvement advisory team is being finalized,” said Esquivel while explaining that the private sector, BLPA, MAFSE, and BAHA are integral to its formation.

“Embryo transplant will speed up the population of Brangus we want to have in the country. We have the conventional breeding which is the bull to 25 animals and then there is embryo transplant. You can choose the gender. You can have sex fertilization,” said Minister Mai.

“It’s better for the farmer because the animal will increase the rate of weight gain, average daily gain, they will produce marble at an earlier age and it has a higher per cent of dress weight,” Minister Mai added.

Last month, Esquivel said they already had 20 Brangus cattle ready to start the program.

Now, Esquivel said MAFSE is having its final meeting on September 2-3 at the Central Farm livestock section to finalize details of synchronization for 20 cows with Angus and Brahman Breed.

“The next step will be the embryo transplant at Central Farm,” Esquivel said.

In early July, Belize exported 434 head of cattle to Mexican multinational company SuKarne which is now preparing for 243 beef cattle that are under quarantine in KaKabish, Shipyard, in Orange Walk. Esquivel said that these cattle will be exported from September 6-12.

Recently, Minister Mai and representatives from MAFSE, BLPA, and the private sector visited SuKarne Feedlots and processing facility in Michoacán, Mexico “to gather first hand insight as to the value chain our beef cattle go through from field to consumer”, Esquivel said.

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