National Animal Genetic Resources Centre & Data Bank

Ray of hope for Isabirye after difficult start

Joseph Isabirye is a farmer based in Mugulusi village, Naibowa parish, Butansi sub-county in Kamuli district. He was on the verge of abandoning livestock farming until NAGRC&DB saved the day. He is a beneficiary of NAGRC&DB’s community breeding programme, specifically artificial insemination.

In 2014, I set up Jet farm with the aim of transforming my life as a successful commercial farmer. I started with 15 healthy cows I bought in Mbarara. Mugulusi is quite a remote area but what attracted me there was that my cows would not easily get contagious infections like foot and mouth disease.

However, being far also meant I had to solicit services from the available artificial inseminators. And that’s where the problems started. I would bring a local inseminator and ask him to give me a Friesian but it would come out a low-level crossbreed I couldn’t even understand.

Sometimes he would inseminate a cow about five times without becoming in-calf. I would wonder…was the semen viable? Was he doing the right thing? Or the problem is with my cows?

As an ambitious farmer out here in the village, the biggest challenge I had was to breed and multiply my stock with the quality cows. After years of this trial and error approach, I was not seeing any tangible returns yet I had heavily invested in the venture.

I was on the verge of giving up in 2020 and sell all the cows. That’s when I learnt about NAGRC&DB’s community breeding project and I offered to join. Ever since I started using the inseminator from NAGRC&DB, my fortunes changed and I am seeing results because he is reliable. He is always available anytime you call him. Most importantly, if you want a Jersey, the calf will also be a Jersey.  He also offers technical advice in complicated situations.

Before, I would get two to three calves a year but in just one year, I have got six calves and they are healthy and top quality. My dream is to fully engage NAGRC&DB in my project so that I become a model farmer in the region.

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