INDIA - To enhance the productivity of the indigenous breeds of India through professional farm management, India has launched Rashtriya Gokul Mission (National Dairy Mission).
While launching the plan, Indian agriculture minister, Radha Mohan Singh said, the mission is a focused project under the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development, with an outlay of $82 million during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-17).
In 2014-15, $28.58 million would be allocated for the development, preservation and conservation of indigenous breeds, the minister said.
Singh said that the project will be implemented with the objectives of development and conservation of indigenous breeds; undertaking a breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle breeds so as to improve the genetic make-up and increase the stock; enhance the milk production and productivity; upgrade nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi; and distribute disease-free high genetic merit bulls for natural service.”
Rashtriya Gokul Mission would be implemented through the state implementing agencies (SIA), namely livestock development boards (LDB).
Agencies including, the Central Frozen Semen Production and Training Institute (CFSPTI), central cattle breeding farms (CCBF), the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), universities, colleges, non-governmental organisations (NGO), cooperative societies and gaushalas with the best germplasm will be participating in the mission.
Cattle rearing have been a traditional livelihood in India and are closely linked to agricultural economy.
India has 14.5 per cent of the world’s cattle population with 199 million cattle, of which 83 per cent (i.e. 166 million) are indigenous.
Most of the indigenous cattle (about 80 per cent) are non-descript, and only 20 per cent belong to breeds recognised by the National Bureau of Genetic Resources.
The cattle genetic resource of India is represented by 37 recognised indigenous breeds. There are 13 recognised buffalo breeds.
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