​​​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:

  1. GERMPLASM: Collection of genetic materials (semen, ovaries, embryos, ova, tissue, oocytes and somatic cells).

    germplasm-oocytes.jpg​  Oocytes​​

  2. CONSERVATION: Act of guarding.


    Indigenous species under conservation programme​:

    ~~ Goats ~~

      ​Nguni type (Mbuzi)​​

    ​ Northern Cape Speckled 

      ​Eastern Cape lob ear 

    ~~ Sheep ~~

    Damara-sheep.png​​​  Damara BapediSheep.jpg  Bapedi zulu-sheep.jpg​  Zulu NamaquaAfrikaner.jpg​  Namaqua Afrikaner

    ~~ Cattle ~~

    cattle-Afrikaner.jpg​  Afrikaner cattle-Nguni.jpg​  Nguni​​

    ~~ Chickens ~~

    ChickensPotchKoekoek.png  Potchefstroom Koekoek ChickensOvambo.jpg
    ChickensNakedNeck.png​  N​​aked Neck

    ~~ Pigs ~~


  3. REPRODUCTIVE BIOTECHNOLOGIES: Biological process whereby offspring​s 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) ​​

    InteriorMobile-small.jpgInterior of mobile lab 

    ExteriorMobile-small.jpg​Exterior of mobile lab​​

    Infodissem-small.jpgInformation dissemination 

    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; and

  • Reproduction course/ training.

For ​more information contact: 
Mr Mphaphathi Masindi, Tel: (012) 672 9337 / 9200, Email: masindim@arc.agric.za

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