South Africa does not stand alone in facing the global challenges of a rising population, diminishing natural resources and food shortages. In response to these challenges the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) has established a programme for the conservation of indigenous livestock that combines traditional conservation approaches with modern biotechnologies.
Mandate of the GCRB
To conduct research, development and technology transfer on issues relating to animal reproduction and physiology in order to conserve and sustainably manage natural resources and improve livestock-based agriculture. The programme is aligned with strategic outcome 1, 4 & 5 of the ARC (outcome 1: increase agricultural production and productivity; outcome 4: a skilled and capable agriculture sector & outcome 5: Enhanced resilience of agriculture). The GCRB team conduct research in collaboration with different provincial and national departments; local and international universities; and other institutions across the globe.
The programme focuses on three research approaches:
GERMPLASM: Collection of genetic materials (semen, ovaries, embryos, ova, tissue, oocytes and somatic cells).
CONSERVATION: Act of guarding.
Indigenous species under conservation programme:
~~ Goats ~~
Nguni type (Mbuzi)
Northern Cape Speckled
Eastern Cape lob ear
~~ Sheep ~~
~~ Cattle ~~
~~ Chickens ~~
~~ Pigs ~~
REPRODUCTIVE BIOTECHNOLOGIES: Biological process whereby offsprings and other organisms are produced with the aid of technologies (In vitro embryo production, multiple ovulation embryo transfer, embryo splitting, sexing technology, cryopreservation, oestrus synchronisation and artificial insemination).
Pregnancy diagnosis (hand palpation)
Pregnancy diagnosis (ultrasound scanner)
Interior of mobile lab
Exterior of mobile lab
The GCRB programme plays an educational role, which includes the exhibition of indigenous livestock at agricultural shows, technology transfer and capacity building of farmers and students. Moreover, the programme disseminates information through publications, conference, farmers day, science communication platforms, media etc.
Services offered at GCRB:Oestrus synchronisation;Artificial insemination;Pregnancy diagnosis;Semen collection and freezing;Evaluation of male fertility;Artificial insemination course / training; andReproduction course/ training.
Services offered at GCRB:
Semen collection and freezing;
Evaluation of male fertility;
Artificial insemination course / training; and
Reproduction course/ training.
For more information contact: Mr Mphaphathi Masindi, Tel: (012) 672 9337 / 9200, Email:
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