Photo: A boy ties a cattle rope to a pen in a cattle showroom in Depok, West Java province October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni
Indonesia has reached around 62 percent of its 4.03 million target of artificially-inseminated cows but their low pregnancy rate of 28.19 percent is stalling the nation's beef self-sufficiency efforts, state news agency Antara reported citing the agriculture ministry.
The artificial insemination of cows programme started in February this year and is part of a government initiative to help breeders improve livestock production as Indonesia works towards achieving self-sufficiency in beef by 2025.
"Pregnancy, however, reached only 850,450 cows or 28.19 percent of the target of 3.02 million,"Antara quoted director of animal health of the agriculture ministry, Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rasa, as saying.
The cows are inseminated with frozen sperm produced with French and German technologies and the results must meet Indonesia’s national standards. The bulls used in the programme have to meet certain requirements, such as being free from 12 types of animal diseases, according to the head of the Artificial Insemination Agency (BIB) of Lembang in the western Java province of Banten, said Antara.
Extraction of semen from a bull could be used for 300 to 350 dosages. The fluids are extracted from a bull twice a week.
8 million dosages of frozen sperm are needed to reach the target of 3 million pregnant cows to breed 3 million calves by 2018.
There is a deficit in sperm of local male cows but most of the supply will be domestic. According to Antara, the Lembang BIB has 5 million dosages of frozen sperm to support the programme this year. 3.2 million are in stock from 2016 and the remaining dosages are from this year's batch.
Imported frozen sperm costs around 350,000 Indonesian rupiah ($26.25) per dosage compared to around 7,000 rupiah per dosage from the local BIB, said Antara’s report.
Indonesia is aiming for self-sufficiency in a basket of commodities, including beef, to maintain domestic price stability, make staples affordable to consumers, and support the livelihoods of local farmers.
($1 = 13,335 Indonesian rupiah)
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