I. Production of Semen Doses at Jassar Farms:
Jassar has already produced 15,000 conventional (non-sexed) semen doses packed in 0.5 ml Straws for Project Tamkeen. The straws are branded and carry information pertaining to name and type of bull. Furthermore, the doses for Project Tamkeen carry the label “Not for Sale” to discourage misuse. The doses are stored in dry-shipper semen containers in the Field Office and issued to technicians on a weekly basis.
II. Establishment of Field Office & Staff Orientation:
A field office has being set-up in Alipur Tehsil, Muzaffarghar, which is being run by an experienced Assistant Manager and Field Officer. The Field Officer is responsible for distribution of semen & LNG to AITs, monitoring of the AITs performance and coordination with the head office. Additionally, Jassar Farms’ veterinary team is conducting regular field visits to provide technicians and farmers with technical assistance.
The project was officially launched in the first week of May 2013. During the launch, project staff and AITs were briefed about project and their respective roles. A refresher course for AITs were conducted by an Jassar Farms’ experienced veterinarians which emphasized on AI, reproductive health of cattle, data recording and semen handling.
Marketing and promotions were done at village level. The marketing and distribution plan for each district were be owned by the Operation Officer who were given a promotional budget to create awareness amongst the poor dairy farmers through the following steps:
- Holding of village meetings with dairy farmers. In these sessions, farmers were educated about the project’s objectives, AI and animal husbandry.
- Placement of posters & banners (in Urdu) about the project (“free insemination with high quality dose” and mobile number of relevant AIT) at congregation points in the villages. These places were typically veterinary stores, post offices, outside mosques, in the bazaars etc.
On average, a cow requires 2 doses for conception and a female calf is born on every 4th insemination. With these assumptions, approximately 7,500 cows of 1,875 small dairy farmers (average farm size of 4 cows per farm) will be impregnated during the project.
|Project Tamkeen (No. of Beneficiaries)|
|No. of Doses Distributed||No. of Cows Impregnated||No. of Farming Families Served||No. of F1 Female Calves Born|
In addition to the operations reports generated by the Jassar Farms Operations Officer, an independent operational audit will be conducted by Ernst & Young to ensure effective and transparent utilization of the doses at the conclusion of the project in Muzaffargarh.
Once these F1 cows mature in 24 to 30 months period, they are expected to yield 3,500 liters per lactation, producing 2,000 liter more than their mothers. Assuming milk price of USD 0.35 per liter (PKR 35), these cows will generate additional income of USD 1,213 per farmer per year over 5 years of its productive live.
|Financial Return to Poor Dairy Farmers|
|No. of F1 Cows in Milk Production||Incremental Yield of Crossbred Cows (million Liters)||Incremental Income of Milk per Year (million USD)||Incremental Income of Each Farmer per Year (USD)|
III. Distribution of Doses in Muzaffargarh
The distribution of doses and artificial insemination service involves following steps:
1) Farmers learn about the project from promotion materials (banners/posters) placed in their villages. The promotional materials carry contact number of CSR at call center.
2) Once a farmer’s animal is on heat (ready for breeding), the farmer will call the CSR to place an order
3) The CSR records the order with particulars of farmer. The CSR will then assign the task to relevant AIT
4) The AIT provides artificial insemination service to farmer along with invoice and empty straw. The invoice carries instruction for farmer in local language that doses & artificial insemination is free of charge.
5) The AIT then takes 4 pictures (two pictures of farmer with both sides of his identity document and two pictures of farmer with the animal, one from each side of the animal) and completes the invoice carrying farmers signature/ thumb impression
6) The CSR takes confirmation of free AI service from the farmer
7) AIT submits copy of his invoices and pictures to Field Officer
8) Field Officer refills the container of AIT with semen & LNG
9) Field Officer submits the data to KPO, who compiles the data for reporting
The following flow chart depicts the information flow and services between the farm and project staff:
IV. Monitoring and Evaluation
Jassar Farms recognizes the importance of a transparent, effective & efficient supply chain for ensuring that these livestock semen doses are administered on the animals of poor farmers on a cost free basis. To ensure that these objectives are achieved, Jassar Farms is undertaking the following steps:
I. Daily Activity Reports and Project Updates
Jassar Farms has developed comprehensive datasheets to capture operational data of all activities including inbound-outbound calls, artificial insemination, stock issuance and coordination meeting. The assistant manager and his team are responsible for ensuring timely and accurate flow of data to the head office, which monitors projects progress and report it to the auditor and project’s donors on a timely manner. For this purpose, the team has been equipped with computers and internet connections.
II. Field Visit by Jassar Farms Staff
An integral part of the monitoring and evaluations of Project Tamkeen involves the field visits by Jassar Farms Staff in the operations area. The purpose of these visits are to independently verify project’s progress, collect farmers and technicians’ feedback and suggest improvement to the head office. Additionally, Jassar Farms’ veterinary team provides technicians and farmers with technical assistance and advice on animal husbandry.
III. SOPs for Semen Testing, Handling and Insemination
In order to ensure highest level of transparency at all stages of operations, Jassar has produced special doses for use in Project Tamkeen. The straws are of different color (putty color straws for Project Tamkeen) from the ordinary doses of Jassar Farms (transparent straws are used for exotic breed, red straws for Sahiwal breed and blue straws for buffalo breed) and carry tag of “Jassar Farms Project Tamkeen, Not for Sale”. These doses are stored in designated 6000- dose capacity dry-shipper containers.
Additionally, Jassar has conducted laboratory tests from University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore (UVAS) under supervision of the auditors for ensuring authenticity of doses. For establishing authenticity (identity of embryo transfer bulls), Jassar has conduct DNA testing from UVAS. In the test a random sample of dose of each bull were compared with blood sample of each bull collected under the auditor’s supervision.
Once the doses were tested and approved by the auditors, the containers were be sealed under the auditor’s supervision before transportation to Muzaffargarh for use. The seal were be opened at project location by Field Officer for issuance to artificial insemination technicians. The Field Officer ensures that the container are always filled at least to 1/3 level to maintain doses quality.
Careful semen handling is essential for achieving optimum conception rate in the field. Following SOPs are being followed to mitigate operational risks inherent in semen handling at the time of issuance and insemination.
1) At the time of transfer from one container to the other, containers should be placed side by side so transfer can take place within 5 seconds
2) Straws should remain immersed in a goblet with liquid nitrogen and not transferred individually without protection
3) Raising straws above the frost line in the container should be avoided
4) Tweezers should be used to remove straws
5) Semen and Nitrogen containers should be stored in a dry place
6) Doses should be protected from direct sunlight and dust.
7) Nitrogen will be replenished every ten day
Additionally following SOP are being followed for thawing semen:
1) Semen doses should be thawed in 35ºC to 37ºC (95ºF to 98ºF) water for 30 seconds by using a calibrated thermometer and a timer
2) Semen doses should be completely dried with a tissue paper after thawing
3) Straw cutter should be used for opening the dose before loading the AI gun
4) Maximum of two doses should be thawed at one time and transfers in the reproductive tract of animals should be completed within 5 minutes
5) A separate AI Sheath and glove should be used for each insemination
Field Officer issues the doses to artificial insemination technician on pre-numbered “store requisition/ issue note”. He maintains records of dose issuance to each artificial insemination technician and sends his report of each container and last nitrogen filling time to the CFO on weekly basis.