Agri Business

NDDB, GCMMF to implement genomic selection for cattle in Gujarat

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on May 19, 2021

The project bears significance as it will record about 1.9 lakh animals in the next five years

The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and dairy federation Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF) have collaborated to expand reference population for genomic selection. The move will fast-track genetic progress in cattle and buffaloes and will help extend benefits of improved genetics to Gujarat farmers.

In a virtual ceremony on Tuesday at Anand, NDDB Executive Director Meenesh Shah and GCMMF Managing Director RS Sodhi signed the Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of the Gujarat milk unions.

The project bears significance as it will record about 1.9 lakh animals in the next five years on parameters such as milk production capacity, fat, SNF and protein content of milk, reproduction regularity of animals, disease incidence, animal’s body type, animal’s behavior etc.

NDDB, GCMMF and milk unions will develop SOPs for recording the data, analyse them and monitor the quality of data collected.

Out of the recorded animals, more than 80,000 will be genotyped and related data will help in Genomic Breeding Value estimation with more accuracy, an NDDB statement said.

Important breeds

Important cattle breeds such as Gir, Kankrej, and cross-bred cows and Mehsana, Jaffarabadi, Murrah buffaloes will be included in this project. It is envisaged that all the bulls that enter Gujarat’s semen stations will be genomically selected ensuring genetic merit, the statement said.

Commenting on the development, Sodhi said, “GCMMF and milk unions of Gujarat will play a crucial role in genomic selection. Extensive artificial insemination coverage and capacity to produce semen by milk unions will also help in faster dissemination of good genetics to farmers.”

Apart from semen stations, farmers will also be able to use genomics for selection of heifers.

The project will be partly funded by the Centrecentral government through NDDB, while GCMMF and Milk Unions will also invest in performance recording, genotyping and training of manpower for this programme.

NDDB has been working towards implementation of genomic selection since 2014. NDDB has developed custom genotyping chips INDUSCHIP and BUFFCHIP for genotyping cattle and buffaloes respectively.

More than 20,000 animals have been genotyped using these chips.

Published on May 18, 2021

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