19 Dec 2018

Fiji cattle embryo transplant programme extended

4:52 pm on 19 December 2018

A cattle breeding programme using transplanted embryos is being extended in Fiji.

Mahendra Reddy

Mahendra Reddy Photo: Fijian Government

The Minister for Agriculture Mahendra Reddy says genetics for the Droughtmaster and Wagyu breeds of beef cattle will be distributed to local farmers and they'll also get extensive training to ensure the programme is successful.

He said there had been a 50 to 52 percent success rate for the first two phases of the programme.

Thirty-seven calves were born in September from 90 transferred embryos and 47 pregnancies have been confirmed from a second batch of 90 embryos, Mr Reddy said.

Mr Reddy said embryo transplantation is seen as a safer method of improving herds than importing cattle.

He said Fiji's beef and dairy industry has been stagnant due to the breeds used, disease and the industry's vulnerability to natural disasters and other issues.