FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Trainings of artificial insemination specialists improve cattle productivity and livelihoods in Azerbaijan

Considering the many challenges small-scale cattle breeders face, FAO launched a project on artificial insemination to boost breeders’ livelihoods. The project aims to improve breeding and service quality in the livestock sector through a better organized and high-quality system for delivering artificial insemination and animal production services to farms.

Improved and sustainable livestock production is a national priority for agricultural development in Azerbaijan, and animal breeding and feeding are both necessary components of this.

FAO supports not only to increase the number of trained inseminators, but also to improve the quality of their services through providing them with modern practical and theoretical knowledge. Thus, new inseminators as well as established technicians can benefit.

The artificial insemination of cattle is one of the quickest ways to control and increase livestock production. Cattle breeders are able to stabilize their livelihoods as a result of a carefully planned breeding programme, based on improved pregnancy rates and an increased quantity of milk among cows' offspring.

To create an efficient artificial insemination system in the country, FAO has started a series of trainings that improve the capacity and skills of specialists in this area and, ultimately, increase cattle productivity through the establishing of appropriate breeding management and strengthening of artificial insemination and feeding services.

Trainings are conducted at the Republican Artificial Insemination Center located in the Goygol region in northwestern Azerbaijan, where the distribution system for locally produced semen is organized with a capacity of 12 breeding bulls. The center, 3.26 hectares in total, includes stables in addition to a laboratory, food warehouse, feeding area, veterinary clinic, and quarantine station.

“These activities contribute to improved cattle productivity, increased farmers’ income through raising the quality of artificial insemination service, as well as providing self-employment opportunities for veterinaries and zootechnicians in rural areas,” said Eran Raizman, FAO senior animal health officer.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic safety measures, only small groups of 7–8 specialists can attend each training. Veterinaries and zootechnicians from various regions (Aghdash, Barda, Gusar, Sabirabad, Zaqatala, and Lenkaran) have attended the trainings.

The workshops equips participants with not only theoretical knowledge, but also essential practical skills through day-to-day hands-on experiences. Upon successful completion of the training, zootechnicians are awarded with a certificate and instruments for artificial insemination.

“The main challenge for freshly graduated artificial insemination technicians is ensure sufficient experience and income while serving as many farmers as possible. Thus, there is a need for continuous advocacy among livestock holders for the use of artificial insemination to improve cattle genetics, to ensure  sustainability of the effort and avoid that technicians lose their skills,” Raizman added. 

The project entitled “Improvement of cattle production through establishment of effective cattle breeding and feeding system” is part of the FAOAzerbaijan Partnership Programme.

18 March 2021, Baku, Azerbaijan