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Rashtriya Gokul Mission Aims to Conserve and Develop Indigenous Breeds Rs. 150 crore Allocated for 2014-15

Union Minister for Agriculture, Shri Radha Mohan Singh briefed about the Rashtriya Gokul Mission here today. The Minister said that the potential to enhance the productivity of the indigenous breeds of India through professional farm management and superior nutrition is immense, for this it is essential to promote conservation and development of indigenous breeds. The “Rashtriya Gokul Mission” aims to conserve and develop indigenous breeds in a focused and scientific manner, Minister added.

Shri Singh informed that the Rashtriya Gokul Mission is a focussed project under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development, with an outlay of Rs 500 crore during the 12th Five Year Plan. During 2014-15 Rs 150.00 crores will be allocated for development, preservation and conservation of indigenous breeds.

The Minister said that, the Mission will be implemented with the objectives to: a) development and conservation of indigenous breeds b) undertake breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle breeds so as to improve the genetic makeup and increase the stock; c) enhance milk production and productivity; d) upgrade nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi and e) distribute disease free high genetic merit bulls for natural service.

Shri Singh also said that the Rashtriya Gokul Mission will be implemented through the “State Implementing Agency (SIA viz Livestock Development Boards). State Gauseva Ayogs will be given the mandate to sponsor proposals to the SIA’s (LDB’s) and monitor implementation of the sponsored proposal. All Agencies having a role in indigenous cattle development will be the “Participating Agencies” like CFSPTI, CCBFs, ICAR, Universities, Colleges, NGO’s, Cooperative Societies and Gaushalas with best germplasm .

Minister informed that the Funds under the scheme will be allocated for: a) establishment of Integrated Indigenous Cattle Centres viz “Gokul Gram”; b) strengthening of bull mother farms to conserve high genetic merit Indigenous Breeds; c) establishment of Field Performance Recording (FPR) in the breeding tract d) assistance to Institutions/Institutes which are repositories of best germplasm; e) implementation of Pedigree Selection Programme for the Indigenous Breeds with large population; f) Establishment of Breeder’s Societies: Gopalan Sangh g) distribution of disease free high genetic merit bulls for natural service h) incentive to farmers maintaining elite animals of indigenous breeds; i) heifer rearing programme; award to Farmers (“Gopal Ratna” ) and Breeders’ Societies (“Kamadhenu” ); j) organization of Milk Yield Competitions for indigenous breeds and k) organization of Training Programme for technical and non technical personnel working at the Institute/Institutions engaged in indigenous cattle development.

Gokul Gram:

Under this component it is proposed to establish Integrated Indigenous Cattle Centres or Gokul Grams in the breeding tracts of indigenous breeds. Gokul Grams will be established in: i) the native breeding tracts and ii) near metropolitan cities for housing the urban cattle. Gokul Gram will act as Centres for development of Indigenous Breeds and a dependable source for supply of high genetic breeding stock to the farmers in the breeding tract. The Gokul Gram will be self sustaining and will generate economic resources from sale of A2 milk, organic manure, vermi-composting, urine distillates, and production of electricity from bio gas for in house consumption and sale of animal products. The Gokul Gram will also function as state of the art in situ training centre for Farmers, Breeders and MAITRI’s.

Each Gokul Gram will be set up by the EIA and function under the auspices of the SIA/ EIA or in a PPP mode. The Gokul Gram will maintain milch and unproductive animals in the ratio of 60:40 and will have the capacity to maintain about 1000 animals. Nutritional requirements of the animals will be provided in the Gokul Gram through in house fodder production. Disease free status of Gokul Gram will be maintained through regular screening of animals for important diseases like brucellosis, TB and JD. An inbuilt dispensary and AI centre will be an integral part of the Gokul Gram. Gokul Gram will also be set up near to metropolitan cities for managing urban cattle. Metropolitan Gokul Gram will focus on genetic upgradation of urban cattle.

Cattle rearing has been a traditional livelihood in India and is closely linked to agricultural economy. India with 199 million cattle has 14.5% of the world cattle population. Of this, 83% i.e. 166 million are indigenous. Most of the indigenous cattle (about 80%) are non- descript and only 20% belong to breeds recognised by National Bureau of Genetic Resources. The cattle genetic resource of India is represented by 37 well recognized indigenous breeds and there are 13 recognised buffalo breeds. Indigenous cattle, in India, are robust and resilient and are particularly suited to the climate and environment of their respective breeding tracts. They are endowed with qualities of heat tolerance, resistance to diseases and the ability to thrive under extreme climatic stress and less than optimal nutrition.