GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 22 July) – The city government is planning to establish a liquid nitrogen (LN2) plant in a bid to enhance the genetic improvement initiatives of the city’s thriving livestock sector.
City Councilor Brix Tan, chair of the council’s committee on agriculture, said efforts are underway for the construction and operationalization of the city’s LN2 plant to address the needs of government agencies as well as local livestock growers and breeders.
He said the proposed LN2 plant, which will be supported by the Department of Agriculture (DA), will be established at the city demonstration farm in Barangay Sinawal.
Tan filed a proposed ordinance on Tuesday to facilitate the establishment of the LN2 plant and the required guidelines for its operations.
The official said establishment of the plant is mainly in support of DA’s Livestock Program’s Genetic Improvement Program, specifically the Unified National Artificial Insemination Program (UNAIP).
He said the UNAIP was conceptualized to provide better opportunities for livestock farming communities by enhancing productivity and competitiveness through institutionalized Artificial Insemination (AI) delivery systems.
Among the specific objectives of the UNAIP is to accelerate the AI diffusion rate to 30 percent of breedable female large ruminants; to increase inception rate of cattle and carabaos at the field level of 65 percent and 45 percent, respectively; and to increase national AI coverage from 25 percent to about 50 percent.
“One of the common issues that emerged from the regular program monitoring and reviews are availability of LN2 for proper storing and transporting of livestock semen,” he noted.
LN2 is nitrogen in a liquid state and at an extremely low temperature that could instantly freeze anything it touches. It is used as coolant to preserve semen of livestock and in other cryopreservation.
Recognizing the importance of the constant availability of LN2 as one of the logistical component of a successful AI program, Tan said the DA, through its livestock program, earlier approved the allocation of funds for the establishment of a mini LN2 generating plant in the city.
He said the agency requires the local government to ensure that the LN2 plant will be in continuous operation 24 hours daily and assign to operators.
The official said the city will handle the maintenance of the plant and provide for its water and electricity needs.
Under the proposed ordinance, the operation of the LN2 plant will be handled by the City Veterinary Office.
It is mandated to strictly adhere to existing operation, occupational and safety standards prescribed by various bodies or offices.
Each liter of LN2 will be sold at P80 for government entities and P100 for non-government entities.