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Embryo transfer technology (ETT)
Oct 06, 2017

[GS Paper-III (Awareness in the fields of bio-technology)]

Why in news?

  • The government has recently rolled out Mass Embryo Transfer programme to carry out 440 embryo transfer of higher genetic merit indigenous bovines into surrogate cows.
  • The programme aims for conservation of indigenous cattle breeds.

Mass Embryo Transfer programme

  • Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in co-operation with 12 States has undertaken a Mass Embryo Transfer programme in Indigenous Breeds under the scheme, National Mission on Bovine Productivity.
  • The programme is implemented with the objective of conservation and development of indigenous breeds under Rashtriya Gokul Mission.
  • Under this programme, embryos of higher genetic merit indigenous bovines are being transferred in to surrogate cows. 
  • Embryos of Indigenous breeds such as Sahiwal, Gir, Red Sindhi, Ongole, Deoni and Vechur have been proposed to be transferred under this programme.

Embryo transfer technology (ETT)

  • Embryo transfer is a technique by which embryos are collected from a donor female and are transferred to recipient females, which serve as surrogate mothers for the remainder of pregnancy.
  • Embryo transfer techniques have been applied to nearly every species of domestic animal and to many species of wildlife and exotic animals, including humans and non-human primates. 
  • Embryo transfer technology has revolutionized the breeding strategies in Bovines as a tool to optimize the genetic improvement in cattle.

Benefits of ETT:

(i) a farmer can get a 5-6 fold increase in number of offsprings
(ii) the calves so born will be of high genetic merit
(iii) the offsprings born will be free from diseases

Government’s Initiatives

  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission: Rashtriya Gokul Mission has been launched December 2014 for the development and conservation of indigenous bovine breeds thereby enhancing milk production and productivity. 

♦ The framework of the scheme is to enhance milk production & productivity through induction of high genetic merit bulls for semen production; field performance recording; strengthening of bulls mother farms; setting up of Gokul Grams etc.

  • National Mission on Bovine Productivity: It has been launched in November 2016 with the aim of enhancing milk production and productivity and thereby making dairying more remunerative to the farmers. The scheme is being implemented with following components 

a) Pashu Sanjivni- It includes identification of animals in milk using UID, issuing health cards to all animals in milk and uploading data on INAPH data base;
b) Creation of E Pashuhaat Portal- The e-pashuhaat portal has been launched in November 2016 for linking farmers and breeders of indigenous breeds.
c) Establishment of National Bovine Genomic Centre for Indigenous Breeds (NBGC-IB): The NBGC-IB is being established for enhancing milk production and productivity through genomic selection among indigenous breeds.

  • National Programme for Bovine Breeding: It is being implemented for enhancing productivity of milch animals through extension of Artificial Insemination (AI) coverage. 

♦ This is done through establishment of Multi Purpose AI Technicians in Rural India (MAITRIs); strengthening of existing AI centres; monitoring of AI etc.

  • National Dairy Plan-I: It is a world Bank assisted project being implemented in 18 major dairy States with aim of enhancing milk production and productivity in order to meet demand of milk in the country through strengthening of semen stations; bull production programme (progeny testing and pedigree selection), ration balancing programme etc.


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