Panama: Livestock for Breeding

Farmers are trying to improve herd genetics by crossing breeds from their own region with others from Europe.

Friday, November 4, 2011

With the aim of improving the supply of meat for an increasingly demanding public, Panamanian farmers have focused on genetic improvement of livestock, achieving tangible results in terms of quality and production level.

While the Zebu breed, native to the region, has features that make it more suitable for Panama’s climate, its flesh is harder and has less flavor than the European breeds.

With cross-breeding, Panamanian farmers are trying to create varieties that have the best of both breeds.

An article on Prensa.com reads: "In the IDIAP’s Carlos Ortega experimental station, located in Gualaca in the province of Chiriqui, breeders are working with a herd of 700 cattle. Of these, 400 are recipient females that have been inseminated with breeds such as Senepol, Simmental, Red Angus, Beefmaster and Brown Swiss, among others.

Animals bred there are auctioned to small farmers to help them improve the quality of their cattle, according to Pedro Guerra, livestock researcher at the Agricultural Research Institute of Panama.

The aim is to produce good quality meat that can compete with imported beef cuts at low cost to the consumer.”

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