The Department of Livestock (DoL) launched 220 doses of Yak semen straw for the first time to initiate Artificial Insemination (AI) in Yak during the 5th Royal Highland Festival in Laya on 23rd October 2022. The semen were collected from selected breeding bull yaks at Government Yak Farm, following a standard procedure. The National Dairy Research and Development Centre (NDRDC), Yusipang and the National Highland Research and Development Centre (NHRDC), Jakar under the DoL spearheaded the semen collection and cryopreservation program in August 2022. The program was initiated as the targeted intervention for the highland communities in the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP), and the current achievement marks a major technology breakthrough in yak breeding in Bhutan.
Implementation of AI services in yaks will address the issue of inbreeding and non availability of quality breeding bulls in general. The tech is expected to benefit 897 yak herders of Bumthang, Gasa, Haa, Lhuntse, Paro, Thimphu, Tashigang, Trashi Yangtse and Wangdue Phodrang through enhanced yak productivity for a sustainable livelihood and economy of yak rearing highland communities. Currently Bhutan has the yak population of 38642 numbers (NSB 2021)
The program was executed with budgetary support from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Highland Development Program, RGoB.