Artificial Insemination and the Cattle Industry in Botswana, 1960-2011

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Bafumiki Mocheregwa


Artifi cial Insemination (AI) is an improved and effi cient method of reproduction in all living things including humans, goats and ants among others. AI in cattle production was introduced in Botswana in the early 1960s with the aim of improving the quality of the national herd, and it has been adopted by many farmers in both communal and private land across the country. This paper observes that AI has signifi cantly improved the quantity and quality of cattle produced by Batswana farmers and has allowed Botswana beef to be competitive in the international beef market. The cattle production, which has traditionally been critical to the economy, has contributed signifi cantly to Botswana’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the general development of the country. This paper traces the government effort at better cattle breeding effort
to livestock improvement centres (LICs) traceable to the colonial period in the 1920s and the bull subsidy scheme which was introduced in 1964. The discussion on AI in Botswana also considers the challenges faced by the scheme from its inception to the turn of the new millennium.

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