The European Union funded “Support to Further Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD III)” Project is continuing its support to dairy farming enterprises in Turkmenistan by arranging further guidance services on the selection of high genetic value in-calf Friesian Holstein heifers, the world’s top milk producing breed, for the Ak Hunji Livestock farm in Mary.
Ak Hunji is one of the largest dairy farms in Mary velayat, Turkmenistan, operating since the beginning of 2015. Supporting further development of the privately managed agricultural sector is one of the SARD III project’s main priorities in the country at this time. As part of these activities, the Project has, during 2018, supported the importation of 66 high genetic merit in-calf Holstein heifers from Holland to Turkmenistan. The Project funded the engagement of an expert to advise “Ak Hunji” on sourcing suitable animals to purchase in mainland Europe and to engage a suitable cattle exporter company to transport the heifers to Turkmenistan. For this purpose, a leading international cattle exporting company “Firma Shaap” was recruited to manage the selection, quarantine, testing and transport of the heifers.
Expected benefits from this activity include improvement of the entire value chain, starting from livestock production to the processing of milk, meat and other animal products. The enterprise sees opportunities in the livestock industry to improve the quality of local dairy herds in line with world standard and to encourage production of high quality safe milk for processing of dairy products that enables local producers to compete with imported products. By improving the quality of animals and animal products, Ak Hunji farmers will have increased opportunity to sell their products on local, national, regional and (in due time), international markets.
In addition to this, support to a dairy farmer in Mary allows other dairy farmers in the area to see the practical benefits of their herd management, thereby increasing their knowledge and understanding of dairy farm breeding for herd expansion and performance improvement as part of overall dairy enterprise development.
“Ak Hunji” farmers are impressed by the new herd additions during 2018, and are determined to follow on with further importation of a substantial number of high genetic merit sexed semen straws from the cattle breeding company Cogent, based in UK.