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DEVELOPMENT OF INDIGENOUS COW BREEDS

 

Introduction: 

Economy in India is predominantly agricultural with more than 70% of its population is dependent on income from agriculture and allied activities.  Next to crop production, Animal Husbandry is the most important activity in rural India.  Some 70 million rural house-hold own livestock of one species or the other – 60 million among them own cattle and or buffaloes.  Almost two-third of these families owning livestock are the most resource poor- small and marginal farmers and landless agricultural labourers.  Income from livestock amounts for 30 to 50% of the rural house-hold income, with vide variations between regions and house holds.  An extensive nation wide study carried out by the NCAER in 1990 found that revenue from milk sale alone amounted for 33% of the family income (National average).  Over 80% of the main agricultural work force of 185 million were involved with livestock production either as a producer or  hired labour.  While total rural employment has grown at the annual rate of 1.75% and in all agriculture at 1.1%, employment in livestock sector has risen at much higher rate at 4.5%. 

India stands first with respect to the bovine population having 1/5th of the world bovine population.  In spite of India’s position as highest producer of milk, productivity per animal is very poor.  It is only 987 Kgs/lactation as against 2038 Kgs/lactation as the world average.  This reflects the low productivity of our animals.  This is mainly due to poor plane of nutrition as well as low genetic potential for milk production and health care. Feed and fodder constitutes  most important input in livestock farming.  That the genetic potential of milk animals are not optimally expressed has been proven through nutritional studies that milk production can be increased by 20 to 30% by improved feeding alone.   

In 1992 country had 204.58 million cattle and 84.21 million buffaloes, giving almost 1.75 cattle and buffalo unit per hectare of available land.  There is acute shortage of nutrients for our livestock and presently gap is about 40 to 50%. 

Trends in cattle population: 

 Cattle rearing in India has been a tradition and intimately linked to agricultural economy.  India with 204.58 million cattle, had 15.97% of the world cattle population.   Between 1987 and 1992 cattle population grows at an annual growth rate of 0.48%.  Out of the 204.58 million cattle, 15.21 million were crossbreed cattle, which is 7.43% of the total cattle population.  Between 1987 and 1992, crossbred grows at the rate of 5.92%.  During 1992, 57.79 million is the milch cattle population and contributing 26.57 million tonnes of milk i.e. 41.64% of the total milk production in the country. 

The changes within the cattle population over the last two decades indicate a radical shift in the priority of the farming community from production of work animals to milk production.  The proportion of the female in the population increased steadily with 1972 as turning point.  Between 1972 and 82, the number of working male in cattle population declined sharply (by 12 million) and among females the proportion of adult females increased (63% in desi and 61% in crossbred) gradually. However the the proportion of desi cows steadily declined and a marked phenomenal growth in the number of crossbred.  Total crossbred number grew from 8.80 million in 1982 to 11.59 million in 87 (31.70%), and 15.21 million (31.32%) in 1992. 

In the northern region desi cow population has declined substantially and the region now accounts for 40% of all crossbreds in the country.  The South has the second largest population of crossbred cattle –34% followed by west – some 15% of the crossbred.  Eastern region has the highest proportion of desi cows and lowest percent of cross breds (11%).  Among the States, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab have the largest number of crossbred cattle and together they account for nearly 65% (9.50 million) of all the cross bred cattle population in the country in 1992. (Table 1)

 

Table 1: Cattle  population trend in India                                                  ( Million No)

Species/category

1987

1992

Annual Growth rate

Total cattle

199.69

204.58

0.48%

Indeginous cattle

188.28 (94.29%)

189.37 (92.57%)

0.12%

Breedable female cattle

60.93 (30.51%)

62.68 (30.64%)

0.57%

Milch cattle

55.91 (27.99%)

57.79 (28.25%)

0.62%

Cross bred cattle

11.59 (5.80%)

15.21(7.43%)

6.2%

Source: Basic Animal  Husbandry Satistics Ministry of Agriculture DAH&D

         

Cattle genetic resources: 

The cattle genetic resources of India are represented by 30 well recognized breeds.  Most of the cattle breeds are suited for draught power but produce little milk.  Indigenous animals are sturdy, are endowed with quality of heat tolerance, resistance to diseases and ability to thrive under extreme nutritional stress.  These breeds are classified into three categories – milch breeds, like Shaiwal, Red Sindhi and Gir which calves between 40 to 50 months and produce 1000 to 2000 lts in a lactation and have a calving interval of 15 to 18 months, duel purpose breeds like Tharparkar,  Hariana, Kankrej.  Rathi, Ongole, Deoni, Gaolao, which first calve between 45 to 55 months, produce between 600 to 1500 lts of milk and have a calving interval between 15 to 20 months, draft breeds like Kangayam, Hallikar and Khillari.  The remaining 80% of the cattle are non descript which first calve at an age of 60 months, and produce about 500 Kgs in a lactation and have a calving interval between 20 to 24 months (Table-2). 

Table 2:Produtivity performance of some Indian cattle

Breed

Age at first calving

(month)

First calving interval(days)

First service period (days)

First lactation milk yield

First lactation length

Hariana

51

(41-49)

497

(434-523)

214

(136-303)

916

(730-1170)

267

(257-315)

Sahiwal

41

(38-48)

473

(418-473)

177

(136-189)

1907

(1597-2125)

314

(228-330)

Tharparkar

43

(39-53)

447

(418-474)

160

(130-183)

1877

(1326-2139)

300

(268-317)

Red Sindhi

44

(39-49)

496

(436-562)

154

(152-158)

1476

(1312-1694)

305

(284-354)

Gir

53

(44-61)

511

(456-541)

176

(135-259)

1498

(1125-1859)

293

(230-394)

Ongole

39

(36-42)

553

(529-637)

226

(210-241)

826

(658-999)

279

-

Deoni

51

(47-55)

466

(456-472)

184

(173-192)

943

(818-1041)

293

(282-302)

Figure in parenthesis gives range of trait 

Some of these breeds have enormous potential to become high producing commercial milch animals, and there is a need for the development of these breeds.  Pre-requisite for the development of a breed are large enough population size, a wide selection differential for economic traits.   

The indigenous dairy breeds of cattle with potential for development as commercially viable milch animals in a comparatively few generation are: Sahiwal in Punjab, Rathi and Tharparkar in Rajasthan and Gir and Kankrej in Gujarat.  If these breeds are selectively mated with genetically selected bulls (through siblei and progeny testing) individuals of these breeds would be commercially viable in just one generation and the breeds as a whole in few generations. 

Problems and constraints in Cattle Production: 

Cattle which is the major constituent of our livestock population is facing newer challenges which are needed to be addressed promptly and adequately to bring in rapid improvement in cattle population. 

Large cattle population and its low productivity per animal demanding stabilization of cow population.

Limitations of feed resources both in terms of qualitative and quantitative terms.

Lack of availability of vaccines and diagnostics in required quantity at affordable prices.

Lack in creation of disease free zones.

Prevalence of communicable diseases.

Lack of technology for proper utilization of cow waste specially cow dung and Urine which has important medicinal values.

Lacking policy for conservation of dwindling indigenous cattle breeds.

Lack of farmers organizations and breeders societies in the country.

Absence of effective extension network. 

Breeding policy: 

 Animal husbandry programmes have been run through the State schemes.  Each State has to evolve its own breeding policy deciding on choice of breed, cross breeding strategy, optional mixture of animals of different breeds required, breeding goals in terms of expected genetic progress to be achieved, specific breeding programmes and the control measures that should be adopted to achieve the desired genetic gains in the population. 

 General parameters in the breeding policy formulated by various States are: 

Indigenous milch breeds such as Shaiwal, Red Sindhi and Gir, should be selectively developed for dairy traits in their native tracts.

Indigenous dual purpose breeds such as Hariana, Tharparkar, Rathi, Kankrej, Gaolao, Ongole Deoni etc. should be developed selectively in their native tracts for dairy and draft traits.

Indigenous draft breeds like Kangayam, Hallikar, Khillari, Amrit Mahal etc. should be developed selectively for draft traits in their native tract.

Non-descript cattle will be bred with exotic semen to produce cross breed with Holstein Friesian or jersey and maintaing 50% exotic impenitence.  In some States Red Sindhi, Tharparkar and Hariana have also been used upgrading non-descript cattle.   

Cattle breeding policy in different States is given in the Annexure I. 

Development of indigenous breeds: 

To develop indigenous breeds Government of India has initiated three schemes namely National Project for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding, Central Herd registration scheme, Central Cattle Breeding Farms. 

National Project for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding:

Genetic improvement is a long term activity and Government of India has initiated a major programme from October 2000 “National Project for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding”(NPCBB) over a period of ten years, in two phases each of five years, with an allocation of Rs 402 crore for the 1stphase. National Project for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding envisages genetic up gradation on priority basis and also had focus on the development of indigenous breeds. 

  The National Project for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding envisages 100 per cent grant in aid to implementing agencies and has the major objectives of (a) to arrange delivery of vastly improved artificial insemination service at the farmers doorstep; (b) to progressively bring under organized breeding through artificial insemination or natural service by high quality bulls, all breedable females among cattle and buffalo within a period of 10 years; (c) to undertake breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle and buffalo breeds so as to improve their genetic qualities as well as their availability and (d) to provide quality breeding inputs in breeding tracts of important indigenous breeds so as to prevent the breeds from deterioration and extinction.  

The project components specially designed to address the existing inadequacies will focus on the hitherto neglected natural meting system as well as the A.I. network with particular attention to (a) streamlining storage and supply of Liquid Nitrogen by sourcing supply from industrial gas manufacturers and setting up bulk transport and storage systems for the same, (b) introduction of quality bulls with high genetic merit, (c) promotion of private mobile A.I. service for doorstep deliver of A.I., (d) conversion of existing stationery government centres into mobiles centres, (e) quality control of bulls and services at sperm stations, semen banks and training institutions, (f) study of breeding systems in areas out of reach of A.I. and (g) institutional restructuring by way of entrusting the job of managing production and supply of genetic inputs as well as Liquid Nitrogen to a specialized autonomous and professional State Implementing Agency. At the Central Government level a Central Project Management Unit (CPMU) with a core group of professional staff implements the Project.  There is broad based Steering Committee for the project to provide guidance to the CPMU.

           At present Following 15 States are participating under the project and following funds has been released to these States for implementation of the project:

                   NPCBB has been included in the Tenth Five Year Plan with a tentative allocation of Rs 400 crore. Provision in BE (2002-2003) is Rs50.00 crore. 

Table 3: State wise funds released under NPCBB

                                                                      Rs in lakh

S.No

State/UT

2000-2001

2001-2002

Total

released

Amount release specifically  for indigenous breed development

 Indigenous Breed development

1.

Andhra Pradesh

339

741.75

1080.75

75.00

  Ongole

2.

Arunachal Pradesh

140

0

140

 

-

3.

Chattisgarh

0

274

274

 

-

4.

Haryana

523

323

846

20.00

Hariana

5.

Kerala

0

209.75

209.75

25.00

Vechur

6.

Madhya Pradesh

0

829.47

829.47

25.00

Malvi, Nimari, Kenkatha

7.

Manipur

67.75

0

67.75

 

-

8.

Mizoram

0

18.93

18.93

 

-

9.

Nagaland

0

97.3

97.3

 

-

10.

Orrisa

0

40

40

 

-

11.

Punjab

501

0

501

 

-

12.

Rajasthan

0

559.3

559.3

25.00

Rathi, Gir, Tharparkar

13.

Sikkim

0

168.93

168.93

 

Siri

14.

Uttranchal

0

248

248

 

-

15.

WestBengal

0

677.02

677.02

 

-

 

Total

1570.75

4187.45

5758.2

 

 

  

B        CENTRAL CATTLE BREEDING FARMS   (CCBF) 

There are seven Central Cattle Breeding Farms (CCBFs) located at Alamadhi(Tamil Nadu), Andeshnagar (U.P), Chiplima and Semiliguda (Orissa), Dhamrod (Gujarat), Hesserghatta (Karnataka), and Suratgarh (Rajasthan). They are producing high pedigree bull calves of indigenous and exotic breeds of cattle and important buffalo breeds for distribution to States for use in the cattle and buffalo development programmes.  The bull calves are produced from Tharparkar, Red Sindhi, Jersey, Holstein Friesian and Crossbred cattle, Surti and Murrah buffalo breeds. The Farm at Andeshnagar and Chiplima are producing HF x Tharparkar crossbred and Jersey x Red Sindhi crossbred bulls respectively. The bulls and bull calves are for sale and distribution to the State Governments.

The Production of Bull calves (Nos.) is as under during the 9th five year plan period: 

Year

Target

Achievement

1997-98

330

346

1998-99

330

321

1999-2000

300

449

2000-01

350

362

2001-02

350

370

 

Central Herd Registration Scheme: 

For identification and location of superior germplasms of cattle and buffaloes, propagation of superior genetic stock, regulating sale and purchase, help in formation of breeders societies and to meet requirement of indigenous bulls   in the different parts of the country. Government of India has initiated Central Herd Registration Scheme. Four CHRS units were established in different breeding tracts of the country. For milk recording 103 milk recording centers were set up. Indigenous cattle breeds   covered under the scheme are Gir, Kankrej, Hariana and Ongole. During 2001-2002 final registration for 1795 animals were completed. The criteria laid down for registration  is given in table-4 

Table4:  Criteria for registration under CHRS 

Breed

Milk yield in Kg’s

Category-I

Category-II

 

 

 

Gir

3500 & above

3000 to 3499

Hariana

2700 & above

2500 to 2999

Kankrej

3000 & above

2700 to 2999

Ongole

2500 & above

2250 to 2499

         

Conclusion: 

Although cross breds are economically viable but the F 2 populations have shown deterioration and decrease in milk yield.  To maintain the performance of these cross breds at desired level, large number of progeny tested bulls are required.  Indigenous breeds can be made commercially viable within few generations and there is no organized efforts have been made to improve the genetic potential indigenous breeds.  Cross breds are more productive as compare to indigenous breeds but their tendency to wilt under Indian conditions of low input and harsh climate, susceptibility to tropical diseases warrants the conservation and development  of indigenous breeds.  Usefulness of various indigenous breeds has not been fully explored. The non-renewable energy resources are bound to exhaust sooner or later if this happens then we may have to fall back on our animal wealth for providing draught power and hence we can  not take risk of letting these breeds go extinct. The domesticated breeds are integral part of our eco-system, culture and heritage.  Thus there is imperative need to develop our indigenous breeds for milk production, draught power etc.

Annexure-I

Cattle Breeding Policy in different States 

S.No

State/UT

Breed

Breeding Policy

 

 

 

 

1

Anhra Pradesh

Ongole

Selective breeding in Ongole: grading up, non–descript with Ongole

 

 

Malvi

Selective breeding Malvi in pockets, grading of Malvi with Tharparkar and Deoni

 

 

Hallikar

Selective breeding in Hallikar; grading up of nondescript with Hallikar

 

 

Non-descript

Grading up, with Ongole, Tharparkar and Deoni cross breeding with Jersy and Holstein

2

Arunachal Pradesh

Local cattle

Grading up, with Hariana and Redsindhi cross breeding with Jersy

3

Assam

Local cattle

Grading up, with Hariana and Redsindhi; cross breeding with Jersy

4

Bihar

Local cattle

Grading up, with Tharparkar Hariana and Redsindhi; cross breeding with Jersy

5

Chattisgarh

Local cattle

Grading up, with  Tharparkar Hariana and Shaiwal; cross breeding with Jersy and Holstein

6

Gujarat

Gir, Kankrej

Selective breeding in Gir and Kankrej; grading up, non–descript with Gir and Kankrej; cross breeding with Jersy and Holstein-Friesian

7

Goa

Local cattle

Grading up, with  Redsindhi; cross breeding with Jersy

8

Haryana

Hariana

Selective breeding

 

 

Shaiwal

Selective breeding

 

 

Non-descripit

grading up, non–descript with Hariana, Shaiwal, Tharparkar; cross breeding with Jersy and Holstein-Friesian.

9

Himachal Pradesh

Local cattle

Grading up, with  Hariana and Redsindhi; cross breeding with Jersy

10

Jammu & Kashmir

Local cattle

Grading up, with  Hariana and Redsindhi; cross breeding with Jersy

11

Jharkhand

Local cattle

Grading up, with  Tharparkar Hariana and Redsindhi; cross breeding with Jersy

12

Karnataka

Deoni

Selective breeding

 

 

Krishna Valley

Selective breeding

 

 

Khillari

Selective breeding

 

 

Amrit Mahal

Selective breeding

 

 

Hallikar

Selective breeding

 

 

Non-Descript

grading up, non–descript with Redsindhi;  cross breeding with Jersy and Holstein-Friesian.

13

Kerala

Local cattle

grading up, non–descript with Redsindhi,  Kangayam and Tharparkar;  cross breeding with Jersy and Holstein-Friesian.

 

 

Crossbreds

Selective breeding with F1 cross bred bulls obtained from progeny tested either jersy or Holstein bulls

14

Madhya Pradesh

Nimari

Selective breeding

 

 

Malvi

Selective breeding

 

 

Kenkatha

Selective breeding

 

 

Non-descript

Grading up, with Gir, Tharparkar, Hariana  Shaiwal and Ongole; cross breeding with Jersy and Holstein

S.No

State/UT

Breed

Breeding Policy

 

 

 

 

15

Maharashtra

Khillari

Selective breeding

 

 

Dangi

Selective breeding

 

 

Gaolao

Selective breeding

 

 

Nimari

Selective breeding

 

 

Non-descript

Grading up, with the breeds of the region  and Hariana; cross breeding with Jersy and Holstein

16

Manipur

Local cattle

Grading up, with Red sindhi; cross breeding with Jersy

17

Meghalaya

Local cattle

Grading up, with Red sindhi; cross breeding with Jersy

18

Mizoram

Local cattle

Grading up, with Hariana; cross breeding with Jersy

19

Nagaland

Local cattle

Grading up, with Hariana; cross breeding with Jersy

20

Orrisa

Local cattle

Grading up, with  Red sindhi and Hariana; cross breeding with Jersy and Holstein

21

Punjab

Local cattle

Grading up, with Shaiwal and Hariana; cross breeding with Holstein Friesian and Jersy

22

Rajasthan

Nagori

Selective breeding

 

 

Malvi

Selective breeding

 

 

Rathi

Selective breeding

 

 

Non-descript

Grading up, with Hariana, Gir, Tharparkar and Rathi; cross breeding with Jersy and Holstein Friesian

23

Sikkim

Siri

Selective breeding

 

 

Local cattle

Grading up, with Hariana; cross breeding with Jersy 

24

Tamilnadu

Kangayam

Selective breeding

 

 

Hallikar

Selective breeding

 

 

Umblachery

Selective breeding

 

 

Bargur

Selective breeding

 

 

Non-descript

Grading up, with Hallikar; cross breeding with Jersy Holstein Friesian

25

Tripura

Local cattle

Grading up, with Tharparkar; cross breeding with Jersy 

26

Uttar pradesh

Kenkatha

Selective breeding

 

 

Non-descript

Grading up, with Hariana, Shaiwal, Tharparkar and Red sindhi; cross breeding with Jersy and Holstein Friesian

 
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