Posted: Friday, October 8, 2021. 10:54 am CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: One-hundred-ten (110) beef bovine embryo transplants were done in Orange Walk on October 5 and 6 at John Dyck’s Farm in Blue Creek in Orange Walk.
The implants of the Black Brangus and Braford breeds of cattle were carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise in close collaboration with the livestock private sector.
The Government of Belize Press Office said the embryos were imported from Argentina through a collaboration that involved with Belize Agricultural Health Authority, Teichroeb and Sons Ltd., and the Belize Livestock Producers Association.
This major livestock development initiated by the Agriculture Ministry aims at increasing productivity, profitability and significantly improving the quality of meat in the beef cattle industry.
“This livestock initiative is an integral part of Plan Belize, where the government and the livestock private sector aims at contributing to food and nutrition security, create employment opportunities, and generate foreign exchange through exports of quality beef to Mexico and Guatemala,” said the Press Office.
“The market is now demanding a higher quality beef. For that to happen we need to diversify our genetics,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise, Jose Abelardo Mai in July when MAFSE started an aggressive move to get the embryo transplant program moving.
“The Guatemalans are happy with what we have right now. The Mexicans are happy with what we have. But they are also saying that if we have Brangus the farmer will get a better price,” Mai said.
To that end, the MAFSE’S Livestock Department embarked on the embryo transplant program to breed Brangus cattle with the objective of improving both the quality and quantity of cattle that Belize produces both for the local and export markets.
Mai said that the Livestock Department turned to embryo transplant because the conventional way takes too long.
“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,” he said.
“It’s better for the farmer because, one, 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 percent of dress weight,” Minister Mai said.
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