May 14, 2022
In a major breakthrough, The National Piggery Research and Development Centre (NPiRDC) in Gelephu officially released and launched Artificial Insemination (AI) technology in the country. The newly constructed swine semen processing laboratory and AI service centre at NPiRDC, Gelephu was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Director, Department of Livestock (DoL). The Laboratory collects and processes chilled semen for pigs and the AI services is expected to reduce the rearing cost of boars and help rapid breed improvement in pigs.
The AI technology was tested for the last one year both at government breeding farms and private breeding farms and the conception rate of around 80% is very encouraging. The chilled semen has short lifespan ranging from 5-7 days at incubation temperature (16-18 degree Celsius) depending upon the type of the extender used for processing semen. The centre will gradually improve the cold chain facilities and explore use of extenders to prolong the shelf life of chilled semen to increase the efficiency of use of AI in pigs.
The centre plans to establish cost effective AI laboratories and cold chain facilities at strategic location to reduce the raring cost of breeding boars. This will reduce the cost of piglet production cost and improve the income generation of the pig farmers in the country.
The centre also officially released Manual for Artificial Insemination (AI) to guide the Livestock Extension staff and piggery farmers. Simultaneously 20 Livestock Production Officers (LPOs) from the Dzongkhags are also undergoing training on AI in pigs as part of the Competency Based Framework (CBF) for LPOs as approved and funded by the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC).
The official launching and inauguration was graced by the Hon’ble Director, DoL as a Chief Guest, senior officials from DoL, the Program Directors of National Poultry Research and Development Centre (NPRDC), National Research and Development Centre for Aquaculture Fishery (NRDCA), Dzongkhag Livestock Officer, Sarpang and Incharge of Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory (BAFRA), Gelephu.