Source: thehindu.com

Though India is the largest producer and consumer of milk, dairy industry needs new technologies that ensure high milk producing cattle. As a step in that direction, the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) has launched a project, semen sex technology, according to its Joint Director R.K. Malik.

He was in the city to attend a conference on dairy industry recently. Speaking to The Hindu , Dr. Malik said the NDRI was conducting research on sex semen technology. “High pedigree cow and bull are required to meet the growing dairy requirements. The objective is to achieve maximum milk production from minimum cattle population,” he said.

“The semen of a particular bull born of a cow, which has a history of high milk production is taken first. Sex-sorted sperm will be used in artificial insemination. According to a rough estimate, 85 per cent artificial insemination is done in cattle in the country. So, the use of sex semen technology assures dairy farmers that the calf to be born would be a heifer or a bull calf,” he added.

The selection of offspring from the desired sex can be one of the determining factors to increase the genetic progress and farmer’s profitability in either beef or dairy cattle. It was estimated that country requires 160 million doses of good quality sperm. However, 80 to 90 million doses of sperm were available. On an average, two doses are administered to each cow, he said.

Sahiwal
Sahiwal

“The Central government emphasizes the development of indigenous cattle. The Sahiwal breed, which is widely used in Haryana was selected for the studies. Gir and Ongole were some of the indigenous breeds that were widely used for insemination. The research with regard to Ongole bull was not going on at the NDRI,” he said.

Dr. Malik said production of ‘clean milk’ was need of the hour. The milk was considered as clean milk if the milk production was from healthy animal and in safe environment. Unfortunately, it was hardly followed in the dairy sector.

Adulteration was one of the major challenges faced by the industry though India was largest producer and consumer of milk. The shelf life of pasteurized milk was hardly 48 hours under standard conditions like refrigeration of 5 degrees, he explained.

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