India has 30 crore Bovines, which is 18 percent of the Bovine population of the world. Traditional and scientific knowledge, and years of hard work, have given 42 breeds of cattle, along with Yak and Mithun, and 13 breeds of buffaloes. The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare released the coffee table book on Mass embryo transfer by Department Of Animal Husbandry, Dairy, and Fisheries (DADF) in Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi.
A software was also launched to collect data for 20th livestock Census and said as the part of Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Digital India initiative, computer tablets will be used for 20th Livestock Census. This software will have all the tools to prepare analytical reports and real-time monitoring of census operation.
The central government has set the target of doubling farmers’ income in the next 5 years and dairy sector will play a significant role in achieving the same. DADF has prepared an Action Plan on Dairy Development to achieve this target. A Vision 2022 document, prepared on the basis of National Action Plan, was also launched by the Minister. The document includes an outline for dairy development, recommends measures to double the farmers’ income, and also focuses on ways and means of making milk and milk products pure and safe.
The Minister said that for the conservation and enhancement, a new scheme called Rashtriya Gokul Mission was launched in December 2014. Also, National Mission on Bovine Productivity was started in November 2016 to increase production and productivity of bovine population in the country. He said DADF started many collective schemes for the growth of Indigenous breeds under Rashtriya Gokul Mission.
He stated that among them Estrus Synchronization, which started in October 2016, was important. For the first time in the country, 1,24,000 animals were inseminated with high-quality semen of indigenous breeds through Estrus Synchronization. These animals were identified by UID and were registered on Information Network for Animal Productivity & Health (INAPH). Accordingly, to the reports received from the states, 41,353 male-female calves were produced through Estrus Synchronization.
The agriculture minister said on October 2-10, 2017, DADH in co-operation with 12 States undertook a Mass Embryo Transfer programme in Indigenous Breeds under the scheme, National Gokul Mission. Under this programme, embryos of higher genetic merit indigenous bovines such as Sahiwal, Gir, Red Sindhi, Ongole, Deoni, and Vechur were transferred into surrogate cows. These cows were identified by UID and are under observation.
The superior quality calves will be used for semen production at semen centres. The Minister said through the use of Embryo transfer technology (ETT), a farmer can get a 5-6 fold increase in the number of offspring, which will be free from diseases. 50 embryo transferred technology labs are being established under Rashtriya Gokul Mission. These labs will provide a new direction for the conservation and preservation of indigenous breeds.