IVF technology to make cow rearing lucrative for farmers : The Tribune India

Tribune News Service

Hisar, March 1

Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (LUVAS), Hisar, has increased the quality germplasm of indigenous breed of cow (Sahiwal and Hariana) through in-vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer technology (IVF-ETT).

Scientists claimed that the technology would promote cattle rearing among farmers as it would improve milk yield of the cow breeds and also ensure higher chances of female progeny. Haryana has been struggling to deal with the menace of stray cattle as the male calves/oxen are no longer useful for the farmers. The low-milk yield in cows too is proving a major damper for the farmers. Dr Parveen Goel, director of research, said five cows had calved successfully with this technique and five more are in different stages of pregnancy. The pregnant animals belong to different gaushalas of Hisar, Jind, Sirsa and Sonepat districts.

Dr Vinod Verma, Vice-Chancellor, LUVAS, Hisar, said that with this technique, the number of quality female animals could be increased in a short time which would help increase the farmer’s income by having female calves of superior genetic quality with higher milk production potential. Dr Verma said this technique would be a boon in reducing stray cattle population. The farmers are no longer interested in keeping ox/bull at home as these have already been phased out from the agriculture work with the arrival of technology.

“This technique will also help make gaushalas self-sustainable. In the state, livestock rearing is a major source of livelihood for many farmers, the poor and marginal farmers in the state are rearing low-milk yielding cows. With this technique, the farmers can replace their animal/herd with high-milk yielding indigenous cows”, Dr Varma said.

Dr Goel also said LUVAS was working with propagation of Sahiwal breed and later planned to work with Hariana breed. IVF-ETT is being undertaken as a routine breeding programme in Brazil and the US. Brazil is a pioneer in this field. Implementation of IVF-ETT programme will surely revolutionise the Indian dairy industry. The university has established an IVF laboratory under the project “Implementation of embryo transfer and in-vitro fertilisation techniques for bovine breeding” of the centre which is being undertaken in coordination with the Haryana Livestock Development Board.

In this project, oocytes are aspirated from elite donors, which are high-milk yielders and reproductively sound, and are incubated with sexed semen of elite bulls. There are 80 per cent to 85 per cent chances of getting a female calf. The excellent grade of embryos is transplanted to the surrogate mother — a low-milk yielding cow.

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