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Indigenous cow is born at Pune’s Mahatma Phule Agricultural University using IVF


In a first, a Gir calf has been born using Embryo Transplantation Technology at the Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth (MPKV) Rahuri in Pune.

Vice-chancellor of the university, PG Patil said this technology will go a long way in preserving indigenous or desi breeds.

The process involves extracting the egg from a selected female and fertilising the same with sperm from a specially selected male, outside the body of the female. The calf at MPKV Rahuri was born after a crossbred cow was used to plant the fertilised egg.

Vishnu Narvade, coordinator of the embryo transplantation, said the weight of the calf was 22.9 kg and the milk of the sire dam was 4,165 kg per lactation, with 5 per cent fat.

Indigenous animals, although sturdy, have lost favour with dairy farmers due to their lower milk yield. Over the years, non-specified or non-descript species have taken over the country, which has led to concerns of the species becoming rarer.

Technologies like IVF offer a ray of hope for repopulating the breed. More than 150 Sahiwal, Gir, Rathi, Tharparkar and Red Sindhtei calves have been born under the project at the Indigenous Cattle Research Cum Training centre of the university.

The said technology is being implemented through NDDB Rahuri, and will help the conservation of indigenous cattle of high pedigree.

Director of Research, Sharad Gadakh, speaking about this technology, said that “in view of the decreasing number of pure domestic cattle in the country, there is no solution without IVF/embryo transfer technology to increase the number of cows with high production capacity at a fast pace”.

The work is being conducted by Dr Somnath Mane, chief scientist; Dr Dheeraj Kankhare, technical head, coordinator, ET/IVF; Dr Vishnu Narwade; Dr Pramod Sakhre; Dr Adangle; and Dr Shivkumar Patil, NDDB.

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