Dairy research institute to produce 25 clones of elite buffalo

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New Delhi,July 3, 2018: Having successfully produced sixteen cloned calves, the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) in Haryana’s Karnal has now been tasked with creating 25 clones of elite buffalo bulls.

The Rs 5.74-crore project, assigned by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), is aimed at improving the buffalo breed with frozen semen and increasing milk production.

A team of about 200 professionals and scientists of the NDRI, in collaboration with the Hisar-based Central Institute for Research on Buffalo (CIRB), will produce at least 25 elite bulls in the next four years. However, it is likely to be a challenging task as the success rate is only 1%.

 Dr Prabhat Palta, the head of animal bio-technology division of the NDRI, told HT, “This technology could go a long way in helping faster multiplication of superior milch buffaloes in India. Though India has the world’s largest population of buffaloes, which contribute to about 55% of the total milk production in the country, the percentage of elite animals is very low.” He said the survival rate of such animals is very low according to hindustantimes.com.
Palta said the researchers have found a method to produce cloned embryos from tissues obtained from dead animals, including buffalo, cattle and dog. The NDRI had produced Garima, the first cloned buffalo calf in February 2009. After that it produced several calves of both genders.

Dr Rajan Sharma, a scientist and public relations officer at the NDRI, said, “There is a demand for 180 million doses of frozen semen, while a large number of elite bulls are required to cover 60 million breeding buffaloes.”

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