Himachal to launch sexed semen technique in cattle breeding

Shimla, Aug 17 (IANS): The Himachal Pradesh government will launch the use of sexed semen in cattle breeding with the Central government's assistance to ensure the birth of female calves to enhance milk production and profitability of farmers, Animal Husbandry Minister Virender Kanwar said on Wednesday.

The Centre's Department of Animal Husbandry has sanctioned a project to the state under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) by releasing a grant-in-aid of Rs 841.65 lakh.

The sex sorted semen technology will be introduced in all 12 districts by next month to enable the farmers to get productive animals and ensure a decline in the stray animal population.

The first lot of 20,000 doses of sex sorted semen has been purchased by the state government. The first insemination in cows and buffaloes will be undertaken in September, said Kanwar.

The sex sorted semen of advanced breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, crossbred Jersey and crossbred Holstein Friesian will be available for farmers.

The sex sorted semen technology will ensure up to 90 per cent chance of production of female calves in comparison to a 50:50 male-female sex ratio with normal semen and it will reduce the burden of farmers to manage male bull calves.

While the cost of a single dose of sex sorted semen is Rs 675, the government will provide it to dairy farmers at Rs 125 per dose, said the minister.

As per the programme, sexed semen doses will be used to obtain 3 lakh assured pregnancies in five years in Himachal Pradesh, which means the birth of around 2.4 lakh female calves in five years.

This year 60,000 pregnancies in cows or buffaloes will be ensured by utilizing 1.68 lakh doses through this technology, which is likely to lead to the birth of 48,000 calves, said Kanwar.

The state will associate private technicians for the project who will be paid Rs 100 per artificial insemination with sexed semen.

For attaining the higher conception rates, both the government and private technicians will be paid Rs 300 for conception at first artificial insemination and Rs 150 for attaining the next conception.

In case, the animal fails to get pregnant even after second artificial insemination then the farmer's contribution of Rs 250 will be returned back by the implementing agency with an advisory to go for next artificial insemination with conventional semen.

All data related to the programme is to be recorded using INAPH (Information Network on Animal Productivity and Health) application and other applications deployed for implementation and monitoring of the programme, added the minister.

Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, popularly known as CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, made history in April when a female calf was born using sexed semen.

The university had signed a pact with Pune-based Genus ABS India Private Ltd regarding the use of sexed semen in cattle breeding.



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