A lesson learning workshop on Breed Identification & Digital Registry of Cattle took place on 11th September 2019 at Krishibid Institute in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The aim of the workshop was to highlight the milestones attained after the implementation of mobile application, Shurokkha for breed identification in the South-Wast regions of the country. With the participation of the consortiums of Netherlands funded livestock project, Blue Gold, the future of cattle breeding through artificial insemination in Bangladesh and the prospect of digitization in the establishment of proper breeding have also been discussed.
Dr. Khaleduzzaman Shamim, Livestock Lead, Shurokkha on behalf of Implementation Partner mPower Social Enterprises delivered a presentation outlining the impacts, challenges, lessons learned and recommendations of Blue Gold program. Other inputs to the seminar included an overview of Blue Gold Program and its role for Livestock Service Providers & Farmers by Md. Amirul Hossain, PCD of Blue Gold Program (BWDB), Objectives & Innovations Fund of BGP (Blue Gold Program) by Guy Jones, Team Leader, Blue Gold Program. Other participants in the seminar included representatives from the field, Farmers & Service Providers.
The workshop started with the welcome note by Mridul Chowdhury, Founder & CEO, mPower Social Enterprises who expressed his strong belief that large scale adoption of this solution for breed identification and suggestion for appropriate artificial insemination has the potential to solve national level issues like, nutrition, unemployment and low income.
There are about 52% of cross-bred cows in Bangladesh without proper ancestral history record. Hence the artificial insemination decisions made by Technicians are not evidence based which is leading to less growth in dairy production and low reproductive performance. The Shurokkha app can be of great help for both service providers and farmers in keeping records of artificial insemination, identifying the breed of a cow and selecting the appropriate artificial insemination for optimum output.
The Chief Guest of the event, Dr. Hiresh Ranjan Bhowmik, Director General, Department of Livestock Services shared the experience of Artificial Insemination (AI) Technicians of his department, “We often cannot convince our farmers to take particular kind of semen for artificial insemination, as they insist on getting the highest foreign breed. Even though this may impede the productivity of his cow, we feel bounded to give him the breed he wants. Now we can show our farmers evidence to use particular semen for AI with every recommendation.” Dr. Bhowmik also expressed his expectation that mass use of this mobile app will help us attain Sustainable Development Goals of Zero Hunger, No poverty and Economic Growth.
At the end of the workshop, in a panel discussion the participants set themselves the challenge of thinking beyond specific programs to explore how solutions like Shurokkha can be made sustainable in order to make an impact upon future livestock development strategies in Bangladesh.