India now has an indigenous technology for sex sorting bovine sperms which would ensure birth of only female calves.
NDDB Dairy Services (NDS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), on Sunday announced that it has been able to successfully conduct field trials using the sex sorting technology, developed with help of the Bengaluru-based Jiva Sciences. The first female calf from sex-sorted semen dose was produced at a semen station at Alamadhi, near Chennai, last month, an NDS statement said.
Some of the key components used in the technology are developed by premier institutes of the country like National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
The current technologies for the sex sorting of bovine sperms are proprietary to a few multi-national companies and this makes it the cost prohibitive for dairy farmers. The ability to assure the birth of only female calves provides huge financial advantage to dairy farmers as the economic utility of a male calf is negligible, it said.
NDS had taken up the project to develop an indigenous technology for sex sorting bovine sperms a few years back with an objective to significantly bring down the cost of the sex sorted semen doses, said NDDB Chairman Dilip Rath adding that the new development would lead to large scale adoption of the technology.
A not for profit Company registered under the Companies Act, NDS functions as a delivery arm of NDDB for field operations relating to promoting producer companies and productivity enhancement services. Till date, it has set up 15 producer companies.
It also manages four large semen stations in the country — Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala (near Ahmedabad), Animal Breeding Centre (near Lucknow), Rahuri Semen Station (near Pune), in addition to the one in Alamadhi. These semen stations together produce about 35 per cent of total semen produced in the country.
“The technology will help bring down the cost of artificial insemination using sex sorted semen significantly from the existing ₹1,000/-. This will also be a turning point in overcoming the problem of stray cattle in the country,” said NDS Managing Director Saugata Mitra.
He said the sex sorted doses are expected be commercially available in January 2021.