Bull semen technology a potential cash cow
Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
The country is set to generate US$140 million per annum from the successful artificial insemination technology that has the capacity to produce seven million pedigree bull semen straws annually.
The project was launched at Chinhoyi University of Technology last month.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Minister Professor Amon Murwira said through research, Zimbabweans had the power to create the country they want.
The minister was addressing vice-chancellors, principals, senior Government officials, graduates and parents gathered Mkoba Teachers’ College for the 2019 graduation ceremony.
“Chinhoyi University of Technology is a good example of our drive to Education 5.0. We started funding the automation of a cattle breeding project where we now have the capacity to produce 7 million pedigree bull semen straws per year,” he said.
“This translates to US$140 million per year. We have about 1,4 million head of cattle in the country and we can produce semen for every cow and this means that we can boost this industry which also has downstream benefits.
“The value chain from leather to beef will benefit the country. Through education, through research and technology, we can create a Zimbabwe we want, we can create a prosperous Zimbabwe free from hate speech.”
Artificial insemination increases fertility in cattle through use of scientifically proven technology.
The artificial insemination technology would complement the Command Livestock Project, which Government was already implementing.
President Mnangagwa in June last year launched the Command Livestock programme where heifers were given to ordinary farmers. The programme is targeting areas which may not be good for agricultural farming but ideal for animal husbandry.
Prof Murwira said the essence of Education 5.0 was to empower Zimbabweans so that they are able to solve their own problems.
“Education must liberate us, education must work for us and we must have a producing industry, one with opportunities for all of us,” he said.
“President Mnangagwa has also outlined on behalf of all Zimbabweans a vision of an upper middle income economy for Zimbabwe by 2030 meaning all the conditions that lead to industrialisation and modernisation have to be fulfilled. This has become our national strategic intent.”
Prof Murwira encouraged the graduates to be conscious of their heritage to raise the quality of life for all Zimbabweans.
“Our education design has to recognise, among other things, like who are we as people, what we have, what we aspire to be,” he said.
“It must have consciousness, and it should be conscious of our heritage with the aim to raise the quality of Zimbabweans by adding value to our heritage.
“A nation like Zimbabwe needs workers not mere imitators, but men and women who are able to create, to originate, to improve and to make independent contributions to the nation using the education offered through our schools, colleges and universities.”
University of Zimbabwe Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Mapfumo said since the teacher vacancy appeared to be saturated, there was need for graduands to think outside the box and venture into areas such as book writing, toy and learning materials production.
This, he said, would curb unwarranted imports of such materials.
“We need to develop these students to create, run and control the primary education industry,” he said. “We have the book industry and teachers are the best writers for books because they have learnt how children learn for three years.
“The toy and learning materials industry for ECD is untapped. Why should the country continue to import those materials when we have graduands that have learnt the educational value of these toys for three years?”
About 452 students graduated at the institution’s 17th graduation ceremony. Of the 452, 257 were females while 195 were males.
Two hundred and seventy-nine graduated with a diploma in Early Childhood Development, while 173 graduated with general diplomas.