Strengthening Artificial Insemination to Achieve Food Security in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
Wednesday, 02 March 2016 08:49

Livestock has an important role in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (RDTL). It is not only a source of food but also the source of financial capital, source of cash income, social and culture concern and employment as well. It also provides manure and draught animal power that contribute to sustainable agriculture.


Livestock production in RDTL is mostly undertaken by smallholder farmers in individual family backyard and communal grazing land. Animals are raised traditionally without improved management in terms of feeding, housing, health and reproduction. Reproduction is through natural mating with older bulls since the young ones are sold. Little control of mating will aggravate the livestock production due to occurrences of infertility disease.  Animals are considered as valuable assets for farmers to cope with economic difficulties as well.

Some constraints to cattle production are as follows:

  • Low reproduction rate due to inbreeding expressed as low calving percentage,  long calving interval.
  • High mortality in calves
  • Slow growth rate of young cattle
  • Damaged and degraded grazing land due to overgrazing.
  • Diseases such as brucellosis and haemorrhagic septicaemia

Improvement of a breeding program, pasture management, as well as pasture quality are crucial to increase livestock production.




One of the quickest and the most effective breeding program is through Artificial Insemination (AI). AI is the technique in which semen with living sperms is collected from a male and introduced into a female reproductive tract at the proper time using an insemination gun (postulate). AI aims to improve genetic merit of livestock population and to rapidly change genetic configuration in order to produce more robust livestock for consumption.


AI has been introduced to many countries as a tool to improve livestock production. Although AI has been widely used in many developing countries, due to inadequate infrastructure for the delivery of AI services such as availability of high quality frozen semen, adequate skilled and well trained technicians, some attempts to introduce and adopt the tehcnology have often resulted in poor results.


Dispatch of Experts to Timor-Leste


Singosari National Artificial Insemination Centre (SNAIC) is the leading centre in Indonesia for livestock breeding. The centre has a mandate to provide prime frozen semen with improved and robust genetic traits serving the domestic demand through its network of distribution centers with the aim to increase productivity of livestock in Indonesia.


Based on all the above aspects, SNAIC intended to share its best experiences to promote the development of livestock sector in DRTL through improving the technical capacity in a proposed project of “Strengthening Artificial Insemination to Achieve Food Security in Democratic Republic of Timor Leste”.


Next year, the Government of Indonesia will send experts to DRTL and they will give assistance to the alumni on practical insemination technique in Fabruary or March next year. The Government of DRTL has been expected to provide 200 cows as acceptors to be inseminated with frozen semen. While DRTL doesn’t have liquid nitrogen that is required in insemination process, the Indonesian experts will bring some insemination materials including frozen semen and tubes with liquid nitrogen. Together with the technicians, the Indonesia expert will inseminate 200 cows in surrounding 4 districts. The program will be called “Gertak Birahi”. The Indonesia experts will stay in Timor-Leste for 20 days and they will return to Timor-Leste to monitor the results later.


Bureau for Technical Cooperation

State Secretariat of__

the Republic of Indonesia__

Jl. Veteran III No. 9__




Ph. +62-21-3846463__

Fax +62-21-3866579__

email: indonesia.sstc@setneg.go.id__