The National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) has appealed to Federal Government to support the institute to revive its vandalised liquid nitrogen plant for the storage of animal semen.
The NAPRI Director, Prof. Clarence Lakpini, made the appeal in Shika, Zaria, when Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, visited the institute on Saturday.
The director, who noted that the plant had been vandalised since the 80s, said the institute had resorted to using chilled semen for artificial insemination.
Lakpini said effective artificial insemination would help to increase the production of animals to meet the increasing demand of citizens in the country.
“If you want to do effective artificial insemination, you should be able to preserve frozen semen that can last up to 100 years but today, our liquid nitrogen plant for the storage is not in use.
“Artificial insemination in this country started in NAPRI since 1976. Today, we use chilled semen which cannot be stored for long.
”We need machinery for land clearing, land preparation, forage harvesting, silage and hay production.
“Some of the machinery we are using today dates back to the 80s.”
He said that the institute would commence training of pastoral farmers and young livestock entrepreneurs to create employment, improve national security, increase income, livelihood and reduce farmers-herdsmen clashes across the country.
The training, he said, would include animal husbandry, artificial insemination, breeding, product processing, storage and marketing of animal products and by-products.
“We want to teach farmers how to plant pastures because you need special skills to plant pasture to differentiate the sown seed from the weed,” he added.
Lakpini said that the institute would commence intensive commercial production of dairy and beef from cattle and poultry.
He noted that the project would be implemented in partnership with Fodder Green Technologies, under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
The director, however, noted that the institute would require Federal Government’s assistance to actualise its target for 2018.
NAPRI is a Federal Government research institute established in 1928 and mandated to conduct research into improving the productivity of animals. (NAN)