New Steps towards Genetic Improvement of Livestock in Uzbekistan
Improving the living standards in rural areas of Uzbekistan is one of the priority tasks today. Having visited some regions of the Republic, it can be stated that development is already taking place.
Studies conducted over the past decade in the livestock sector in Uzbekistan have identified some key challenges for the further development of the dairy and veterinary sectors in Uzbekistan. Despite some progress in the recent years, milk yields per cow are still low due to poor fodder base and reproductive issues, such as improper management of animal genetic resources. Artificial insemination using semen of bulls from breeds, which are well adapted to harsh conditions, may contribute to a sustainable improvement of milk yields and production.
The "Sustainable Development in Rural Areas of Uzbekistan" project, co-financed by the European Union, provides technical assistance and innovative solutions in agri-food value chains in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In 2018, at the initiative of the Italian Breeders Association (AIA), a member of the project consortium, the international expert, Dr. Lamberto Morelli, conducted artificial insemination training in the Andijan branch of the Tashkent State Agrarian University for 20 veterinarians from Andijan and Kashkadarya regions. During the training, the veterinarians received modern kits for artificial insemination. In the spring 2019, the project conducted a survey of these veterinarians, which revealed that the success rate of artificial insemination with the modern kits, amounts to 90-95% pregnancies, compared with a success rate of 55-65% pregnancies with the old equipment. At the same time the provided insemination kits are easier to use and less pain- and stressful for the cows.
Following the success of this campaign, it was decided to purchase high quality bull semen of European cattle breeds and then to conduct another series of training-sessions, so that more Uzbek veterinarians could use the new knowledge and resources. In October 2019, Mr. Morelli conducted the planned one-week training in Andijan. The sessions addressed the topics of genetic improvement of livestock in Uzbekistan: the specifics of artificial insemination and its technical characteristics, animal health and welfare, embryonic development, postpartum period and breeding strategies. Attention was also paid to the difficulties and correct selection of breeds to be crossed in order to avoid negative consequences for livestock health in the future.
The project provided a total of 19 000 Simmental and Holstein bull semen for artificial insemination, of which 6 700 were sent to Kashkadarya and 12 300 to Andijan. The Naslchilik Livestock Breeders' Association of Kashkdarya region and Andijan branch of the Tashkent State Agrarian University, will conduct consultations for local veterinarians and coordinate the artificial insemination campaign, to ensure that the semen is used primarily for purebred, well-kept cows on farms, which have a proper feed base.
For additional information related to the artificial insemination of cows, please contact "Naslchilik” LLC in Kashkadarya and in Addijan regions.