Dairy Livestock

NDDB to introduce indigenous sex-sorted semen technology for milch cow

NDDB to introduce indigenous sex-sorted semen technology for milch cow

NDDB to introduce indigenous sex-sorted semen technology for milch cow

An indigenous and economical sex-sorted semen technology will soon be rolled out to dairy farmers in India in order to improve the number and production of milch animals.

The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) subsidiary NDDB Dairy Services has successfully performed field trials of sex-sorted semen utilisation.

To increase milk output, sex-sorting semen technology removes male sperm from cattle spermatozoa and assures only female calves are delivered.

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‘We had good field experiments in Maharashtra and Chennai. On the fringes of the International Dairy Federation’s (IDF) World Dairy Summit 2022, the success ratio of an animal delivering solely a female calf is 87-90% — 20-25 female calves were born,’ said CP Devanand, deputy managing director, NDDB Dairy Services.

Devanand went on to say that the technology has been developed indigenously in a collaborative project with the Bengaluru-based bio-engineering firm Jiva Sciences Private Limited, as well as the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai, and the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru.

Currently, multinational firms such as the US-based Sexing Technologies (ST USA) and its Indian affiliate ST Genetics India source sex sorting technology for bovine sperm. The cost of sexed sperm for artificial insemination is ₹1,500-2,000 per dose; when an animal requires multiple doses, the cost rises to ₹4,000, making it unviable for the average farmer.

‘We will be ready for commercial launch by the end of this year, for roughly ₹250 per dosage of sexed semen, which is significantly more economical than existing options, and will be available through our semen centres,’ Devanand added.

The method is usually used on cows because male buffalo are more valuable than bulls.

The Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union (Amul Dairy), situated in Anand, had begun a sex-sorted sperm programme in 2020 at a subsidised rate for dairy farmers. ST USA provided technology to the dairy.