'US to transfer sex-sorting tech for farm animals'

'US to transfer sex-sorting tech for farm animals'

The USA is expected to transfer its exclusive sex sorting technology, developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), to India by September this year to help the country tackle the menace of stray cattle, Union Minister Giriraj Singh said on Monday.

The use of 'sexed semen' under the Union government's breed improvement program, would become a turning point in overcoming the problem of stray cattle, the Union minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries.

The transfer of technology by the US to the country would also make the artificial insemination of animals much cheaper, bringing the cost to Rs 100 per dose from earlier cost of Rs 1,200 per dose, he said.

Semen having X or Y bearing sperm to produce progenies of a desired sex either female or male, with about 80 to 90 percent accuracy, is known as sexed semen, explained officials.

Sex sorting technology was developed by the USDA researchers in Livermore, California, and Beltsville, Maryland, they said, adding, the technology was patented as “Beltsville Sperm sexing technology”.

The commercialization of sexed semen started in United States in 2001 with a license granted to Sexing Technologies, Texas, they said, adding at present, ST commercially produces sex sorted semen in many countries of Europe, USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, Japan and some other countries.

“The Union government at present has to pay a heavy amount to America owing to its monopoly on the sex sorted semen technology,” said Singh.

He said the cost per dose would be reduced to as less as Rs 100 by September when the government expects to import the technology and use indigenous sex sorted semen.

The minister said 600 districts of the country have been selected for sex sorted semen breeding program.

It is obligatory for every selected district to spread the umbrella of sex sorted semen to at least 300 villages of the district, he said.

Under the scheme, covered through state government, roughly over 25,000 artificial insemination are performed daily.

The minister said owing to indifferent attitude of previous governments, except a few states, the use of artificial insemination technology was hardly 24 percent, despite the program having been around 1970.

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