State may house national breeding centre for cattle

State may house national breeding centre for cattle

Rs 50 cr announced in Union Budget for 2 such facilities in the country

State may house national breeding centre for cattle

The Centre is in talks with the governments in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala for establishing a national breeding centre for conservation and development of indigenous variety of cattle.

First of its kind

The proposed breeding centre, first of its kind in the country, will be developed at two locations simultaneously. Mathura has been identified as one location while another Centre would come up in one of the southern states. The Modi government has already announced Rs 50 crore in the Union Budget for establishment of these centres.

“At present, there are no breeding centres in the country,” Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said.

Such institutions would be  repositories of indigenous germplasm and a source of certified genetics in the country, the minister added.

Mathura, where one of the two centres would be established, is revered as the birthplace of Lord Krishna who is worshipped as the protector of cows.

This is in sync with the BJP narrative on dovetailing ancient Indian traditions with government schemes. Such centres would make available elite, certified germplasm to farmers, breeders, breeding institutes and trusts maintaining indigenous breeds.

Instead of going for foreign breeds for higher milk yields, the minister said that there was need to improve the productivity and quality of milk from indigenous cattle and buffalo, which could give additional income to farmers.

Nucleus herd
A nucleus herd of all the indigenous bovine breeds will be conserved and developed with the aim of enhancing their productivity and upgrading genetic merit, he said.

The government is focusing more on promoting indigenous cattle breeds to meet future milk demand, Singh said.

The government has launched ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’ with an outlay of Rs 500 crore to conserve and develop indigenous breeds, the minister added.

The country’s milk production was 137.67 million tonnes in 2013-14. The output is required to be raised by six million tonnes every year to meet growing demand by 2025, he said.