Rwanda adopts embryo transfer for quality dairy output

Government has turned to the embryo transfer system, in a move that will boost milk production with good genetics in the country, according to a top official.
Some friesian cows reared in Rwanda (file photo)
Some friesian cows reared in Rwanda (file photo)

Government has turned to the embryo transfer system, in a move that will boost milk production with good genetics in the country, according to a top official.

Theogene Rutagwenda, the Director General of Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA), said Rwanda started transforming her indigenous cattle herd by transferring local cows with embryo from dairy exotic bulls like Friesians and Jerseys.

“The embryo transferred to traditional breed will have strong immunity of the mother and will successfully adapt to an extraordinary range of diseases and climate changes,” he told Business Times in an interview.

The effort will yield good results in increasing milk production in the country since cross-breeds produce more milk than local cows, he said, adding that embryo transfer is a more advanced process compared to artificial insemination.

“It (embryo transfer) gives assurance than the limited chances involved in artificial insemination.”
RARDA, the government agency responsible for the development of animal production, has also trained five staff members to conduct the embryo transfer.

Rutagwenda, however, warned that the breed will still need extra care and maintenance to improve productivity.

During the trial transfer that was done in Kicukiro District, RARDA produced two embryos adding to the four that were imported, and out of six embryos, planted four were successful. The four embryos used were imported from Canada with an aim of making Rwanda self sustaining in embryo production.

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