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Sibonga tops production of AI-produced cattle in Cebu

| by: Stanley Cin

For eight years since 2006, the municipality of Sibonga maintained seat as the top producer of domestic animals using artificial insemination (AI) in Cebu.

As of July 2014, the town already has 142 AI offspring produced. It hit its target of 72 heads for this year with a rating of 197 percent. The municipalities of Barili and Argao followed with 97 and 92 heads, respectively.

Lone Sibonga Municipal AI Technician Victorino Lañojan said there’s no secret in his work but only hard work. He said since the program was started by the Capitol, the livestock farmers already noticed its difference.

“Dili na secreto, naa na sa mga demand sa among (It is not because of a secret but that is because of the demand of) AI services. I became an AI technician ten years ago, ang mga resulta ra ang nanabi ug ang (it’s the result that markets itself and the) commitment to serve,” he said.

Speaking of hardwork, Lañojan said he is already used to it. He said before he became an AI technician, he was an ambulance driver of the town. He then became a meat inspector, which also commands long hours of work.

Because of his dedication, Lañojan said, he was able to purchase furniture sets and was able to send his children to school with the help of his incentives as an AI technician.

When he was chosen as the outstanding municipal AI technician by the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 in 2011, he treated his family for a shopping.

For the town of Argao, Leonito Manzanades, municipal AI technician, said the goal is to have all their breedable animals be afforded with AI services in two years.

He said they are still at 60 percent of accomplishing that goal. Unlike Sibonga, Argao has three technicians but they are confronted with a much larger land area than Sibonga.

Argao also is the only town in Cebu that assigned one AI technician for the production of carabaos. He said this is necessary as not all towns and cities are viable for carabao productions.

In addition, unlike beef, AI services in carabaos have lower success rate. This is because the animal’s warmer body temperature destroys the semen before it can fertilize. Carabao owners are advised to dip their animals first for hours in the water before insertion of semen to its reproductive gland.

AI technicians received Php 100 for every AI offspring born or calf dropped from Unified National Artificial Insemination Program (UNAIP). Another Php 200 cash incentive award is given from Philippine Carabao Center and Php 500 from National Dairy Authority.

Nenita Jaganas, chief, Animal Production Division, Provincial Veterinarian’s Office (PVO), said they are also lobbying with the DA for more incentives for AI technicians through its Agri-Pinoy program.

Jaganas said they have already proposed for it. Though the agency already agreed in principle, they are still awaiting its “black and white” answer.

Jaganas also encouraged the AI technicians to also avail of the AI program since their salary is too small to rely on.

Some of the AI technicians are only paid over Php 190 per day as job order employees. Some of them also used their own motorcycles and bought fuels out of their own pocket in performing their job in the field.

AI is the introduction of semen into the female’ reproductive gland for fertilization. For domestic animal breeding, it is a cross breeding method to propagate high quality offspring.

Vincoy said the province is among the local implementers of the Unified National Artificial Insemination Program of the national government.

The province stored different kinds of straws from beef, carabaos, cows, and goats in its liquid nitrogen plant at the former Department of Agriculture compound. Livestock semen were given free to the Capitol from the National Artificial Breeding Center in Bukidnon and Philippine Carabao Center.

Liquid nitrogen is used to preserve the semen. The Capitol sells liquid nitrogen along with the straws for Php 3,000.

There are now 47 of local government units who have availed of the program.