The Minister of State for Animal Industry Lt. Col. (Rtd.) Bright Rwamirama on Saturday commissioned a liquid nitrogen plant at Mbarara Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (ZARDI).
Worth Shs700 million, the plant was procured under the National Genetic Resources Centre & Data bank (NAGRC&DB) from the Noblegen Cryogenics, UK to boost breeding, production and animal identification services in the country.
Liquid Nitrogen is used to: preserve animal germplasm (mainly semen and embryos), preserve other materials in the medical and agricultural research, and for permanent identification of cattle (freeze branding).
According to the ministry of agriculture, NAGRC&DB currently has 3 functional liquid nitrogen plants, one at Entebbe, another one at Njeru Stock farm and the third is at Mbarara ZARDI.
The three plants have a combined capacity to produce sufficient liquid nitrogen required for breeding, production, freeze branding and other biotechnology work in Uganda and beyond.
I will today launch the Liquid Nitrogen Production Plant procured under the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre & Data Bank at Mbarara Zonal Agricultural Research Institute pic.twitter.com/nC5Wrb4ju2— Hon. Lt. Bright Rwamirama (@LtRwamirama) November 28, 2020
According to Minister Rwamirama, the plant will produce 150 litres per hour and will produce over 4,500 litres per month which will be sold cheaply to the farmers to reduce the failure of conceiving by animals.
The plant will adequately supply liquid nitrogen to the districts of Lyantonde, Kiruhura, Mbarara, Isingiro, Kazo, Ibanda, Kitagwenda, Sheema, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Mitooma, Rubirizi, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Kabale, Rukiga, Rubanda, Kisoro and others in the western zones of the cattle corridor.
A set of AI equipment was also procured and one AI Technician was trained in how to use the equipment under the respective district local governments.
Uganda now has the capacity to produce 54,000 litres of liquid nitrogen per month, enough for use in all.