In its bid to conserve the genetic resources of native cattle breeds, the Odisha Government has inducted Binjharpuri breed of cows to its Frozen Semen Bank.
The initiative, a first of its kind, was given go-ahead by Odisha Livestock Resources Development Society, headed by Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department Bishnupada Sethi.
Binjharpuri cow has been registered as 33rd cattle breed in India. Considered a dual purpose indigenous cattle breed of Odisha, it is rated highly in term of milk production under semi-intensive management, disease resistance, fertility and draft ability of bullocks.
As part of native cattle germplasm programme, seven Binjharpuri bull calves, which were procured from farmers, have been inducted to the Livestock Breeding Farm at Cuttack.
While these bull calves will be used for breeding purposes, the Department will also utilise them for artificial insemination given their genetic strength. Sethi said this initiative is first of its kind in India towards conservation and improvement of newly registered native cattle germplasm.
“The Odisha Bovine Breeding Policy, 2015 emphasises conservation and improvement of native germplasm in the State. As part of the genetic upgradation programme, the Haryanvi breed will be replaced by Tharparkar and Binjharpuri,” he added.
The Department selected the seven bull calves from Sujanpur under Jajpur district which happens to be the habitat of the breed. These bull calves underwent andrological and disease screening tests and the Department also verified the mother’s milk yield.
On an average, daily milk yield of Binjharpuri breed is more than 4.5 litre which continues for a length of 300 days upon calving. The calving interval is around 15 months. A Binjharpuri pair fetches anything between `70,000 and `90,000.
Sethi said a project on processing of Binjharpuri milk and sale at a premium price has been taken up through OMFED under Rashtriya Krishi Vima Yojana. This move is expected to trigger demand for nutritious and safe cow milk at a premium.