Cow Swayamvar in Madhya Pradesh, the Hi-tech Way

Bhopal: Call it Gau/Cow Swayamvar. Owners of cows in Madhya Pradesh can now choose the perfect mate for them – from a line-up of the biggest bulls and their ‘Kundali’ of sorts. The animal husbandry department has compiled an impressive matchmaking database, called ‘sire’ (bull) directory, of around 200 bull with details of family history, diseases, and milk production capacity of the bull’s mother.

“The idea is to zero in on the best breedable bull from all 16 breeds available in Madhya Pradesh to get the best semen for insemination,” said an officer. These 200 bulls have been brought to the central semen station of Bhopal.

The ‘sire directory’ was released by animal husbandry minister Lakhan Singh Yadav last Saturday. “It has been prepared by experts, covering every possible detail of a bull. It will help in improving indigenous cattle breed,” said the minister.

The directory will be updated every month and put on the internet for easy access. Bulls of Gir, Sahiwal, Tharparkar, Murrah,  Malvi and Nimari breeds are among those brought to the semen station. The database is so exhaustive that it says whether the bull was born in a farm or field.

Information on each bull is divided under three heads. First is the general under three heads. First is the general information – breed, parentage, and age. The second head is ‘performance traits’, which mentions milk production capacity of its mother, a fat percentage in the milk, a test of progeny fat percentage in the milk, the test of progeny and breeding value of the bull. The third category has results of tests done for genetic disorders and propensity for diseases.

Manoj Shrivastava, additional chief secretary of animal husbandry department, said that MP State Livestock and Poultry Development Corporation has published the directory. The corporation runs the central semen station in Bhopal, which is one of the A-grade units in the country. It produces more than 28 lakh frozen semen doses of 16 breeds per year and is aiming at 40 lakh semen doses per year.

“To make the dairy enterprise more profitable, the milk production potential of cows should be high, which can be achieved by the use of proven pedigree bulls with higher sire indices. The sire directory will be of great help in this,” explained corporation MD HBS Bhadoria.

The Bhopal central semen station is likely to start pre-determination of the sex of the calf. “It will boost milk production as cows comprise over 90% demand in the livestock market and that of bulls is 10% since they are needed only for reproduction,” he added.

Read: Dairy is Livelihood in India, not Merely Trade

 The article is extracted from The Time of India, December 24, 2019.