How NAGRC&DB skills vets to match new technology

As the country embraces the Parish Development Model (PDM), NAGRC&DB executive director Dr Peter Beine reasons that the entity’s major contribution to the transformation of the agricultural sector can best be done through skilled veterinarians who train farmers to articulate their breeding objectives as well as providing artificial insemination.

Every year on April 30, the world recognizes the resilience of veterinarians on the World Veterinary day (WVD). In Uganda, NAGRC&DB is at the forefront to promote the veterinarians by prioritizing training of technicians to enhance the uptake of improved breeds.

At each of our 15 Animal Genetic Resource Centres (AnGRCs), there are veterinarians and veterinary paraprofessionals that use their knowledge and skills to sustainably manage these animal resources.

Over the past six months, NAGRC&DB has trained 70 Artificial Insemination (AI) technicians to enhance the uptake of improved breeds through AI at the parish level in fulfillment of the PDM aspirations.

Under PDM, we train farmers, help them articulate their breeding objectives, and then conduct massive pregnancy diagnosis, estrous synchronization, and Artificial Insemination. We used the WVD occasion to commission the liquid nitrogen storage facilities and parish-level semen banks in various districts.

Our AnGRCs that are situated in various agro-ecological zones of Uganda will continue to serve as knowledge transfer centers to the surrounding farming households. Meanwhile, to help vets realize their dreams, NAGRC&DB supports them to undertake specialized training in various subjects tenable at some of the leading institutions globally. This makes them highly competitive, not only in Uganda but also globally.

No wonder, because of this capacity, NAGRC&DB was selected by the African Union in their fourth Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARDWE) meeting, as one of the five regional seed centers of excellence for animal resources.

Beyond employment, NAGRC&DB also offers internship opportunities for vets. Leveraging on the diverse animal resources located in all agro-ecological zones of Uganda, veterinarians, and veterinary paraprofessionals are offered opportunities to have hands-on experience in a supervised setting. This helps them gain confidence as they prepare to begin interfacing with farmers’ animals after graduation.

Secondly, we offer training in assisted reproductive technologies that helps vets to acquire specialized skills in assisted reproductive technologies such as Artificial Insemination (AI) and Multiple Ovulation Embryo Transfer (MOET).

Thirdly, NAGRC&DB provides graduate trainee opportunities. Some veterinarians who are transitioning from school to fieldwork are offered opportunities as graduate trainees where they are exposed to all aspects pertaining to animal production and breeding. It is also worth noting that NAGRC&DB has a number of internationally recognized veterinarians due to their breakthrough research.

Through the entity’s 15 specialized units, NAGRC & DB staff are mandated to develop and implement projects and programs for more efficient reproduction and breeding of animal genetic resources using appropriate and acceptable technologies. It is through these programs and projects that veterinarians make important discoveries which get published in high-impact international peer-reviewed journals.

The entity also supports veterinarians to pursue further training at masters and doctoral levels in a bid to generate more knowledge and new concepts in their respective areas of specialization.

Lastly, owing to genetic resources as an ever-improving aspect of farming, NAGRC&DB is keeping the human resources up to date with the ever-changing technologies in the area of animal breeding. We also support staff to undertake both short-term and long-term training in their specialized areas of expertise.

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