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Improving livestock productivity in Honduras
Date:6/4/2009

Honduras is poised to bring a set of integrated laboratory-based services for the benefit of cattle farmers, as an IAEA-supported project to improve livestock productivity moves into its third phase.

The project addresses two main areas. First, it directly assists milk and meat producers by determining the nutritional value of pastures, forages and potential cattle feeds; by reinforcing the sperm bank and selection criteria for cattle for higher meat and milk production; and by improving diagnosis of diseases affecting livestock. Secondly, the project also helps introduce new and laboratory techniques to ensure quality of the countrys meat and milk products bound for export. The ultimate goal of all these activities is to improve livestock production in the country.

"In the first and second phases of the project, we concentrated on building the laboratory infrastructure," says Juan Carlos Ordoez, the project counterpart at Honduras "Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agropecuaria (SENASA)" in the Ministry of Agriculture. The objective was to establish a strong basis for delivering a set of integrated services in areas such as genetic improvement, residue analysis, nutrition, health and reproduction.

Through assistance from international donors, including the IAEA, the laboratories operating under SENASA are well-equipped and efficiently dedicated to accomplish these tasks. Key IAEA contributions included a real-time PCR machine and equipment for the semen processing laboratory, which greatly boosted Honduras capabilities in disease diagnostics and livestock reproduction.

The Agency has also helped train key personnel in the use of these equipment, as well as in the practice of nuclear and molecular techniques including radioimmunoassay (RIA). RIA has been the dominant technology in the field of livestock productivity and one of the most common techniques being used in the IAEA project in Honduras. The technique employs radioisotope
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Contact: Rodolfo Quevenco
r.quevenco@iaea.org
43-126-002-1287
International Atomic Energy Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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