Farmers to be provided package of practices to elevate them socially & economically: T Nanda Kumar

Anand, 16 March 2015: The National Dairy Development Board organised a two-day workshop on Revisiting Minimum Standards for Bovine Frozen Semen Production at NDDB, Anand on 12-13 March 2015. This is the sequel to two international workshops conducted under NDP I. The first was on Genetic Improvement of Cattle and Buffaloes (September, 2013) and the second on Production & Processing of Bovine Frozen Semen (October, 2014). Technical experts, scientists, officials from DADF of Govt of India and representatives of semen production agencies participated in the workshop and deliberated on various issues related to bovine semen production.

While addressing the participants, Shri T Nanda Kumar, Chairman NDDB said that NDDB is committed to provide the farmers: Good genetics though production of High Genetic Merit (HGM) bulls, good semen for AI through production of high quality disease free semen from the HGM bulls, facility to provide balanced/enriched ration and to create infrastructure/facility to procure and market milk.

He said that the farmers should be provided the package of practices to elevate them socially and economically. NDDB’s attempt is to address the issues at all levels and the need of the hour is to ensure that available resources are optimally and rationally utilised. NDDB Chairman said that frozen semen stations are extremely important centres for enhancing the performance of animals. For a farmer milk yield is important along with disease resistance, adaptability and better feed conversion. Therefore for animal selection process the primary data collected is vital. Standard Operating Procedures are extremely important for streamlining operations. Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the projects would ensure traceability too.

Shri Nanda Kumar said that in the recent central budget, provision for states has been enhanced thus making it possible for states to carry out many of these activities on their own without waiting for specific central allocations.

In his welcome address, Shri Dilip Rath, Managing Director, NDDB said that “At present, there are 50 semen stations in the country which together produce about 88 million doses of frozen semen. To breed the targeted number of breedable animals, the country would need to increase semen production from the current level to 100 million doses by 2016-17 and 140 million doses by 2021-22. Special emphasis is being given in NDP I to strengthen/expand ‘A’ and ‘B’ graded semen stations owned and operated by State Livestock Development Boards, Cooperatives and NGOs. As of now, 22 sub project plans covering 14 states have been approved for strengthening/expansion at a total cost of Rs. 256 crore”.

Shri Rath further said that frozen semen of HGM bulls produced through scientifically planned PT /PS projects following Minimum Standards (MS) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) would be of great value because of their genetic merit. It would also be essential to get the performance of the bulls recorded by the semen stations to ensure that only best quality germplasm gets multiplied. This calls for adopting performance recording for newly introduced bulls in each semen station. Performance recording becomes more important with exotic germplasm, which would be imported under NDP I in the form of live bulls and frozen embryos of HF and Jersey breeds and progenies born with this germplasm. So all efforts must be made not only to produce disease free semen but also to strictly follow the GoI guidelines on traceability.

In his Keynote address, Dr Suresh Honnappagol Animal Husbandry Commissioner, Govt of India emphasised the need for production of quality frozen semen, which ultimately results in enhancement of milk production and productivity of dairy animals. Dr Honnappagol highlighted the need to adhere to Minimum Standards and frequent evaluation of semen stations by CMU. He said that quality control, bio-security and productivity enhancement of existing breeding bulls should be the focus area for all involved in semen production.

Presentations were made on Bull Selection and Bull Management; Semen Extender, Semen Processing and QC; Semen Station Evaluation and Score Card; Data capturing and analysis; General management, Quality Assurance, Manpower development and customer relationship and Biosecurity & Animal Health. Topics deliberated during the technical sessions: Bovine frozen semen production – Antecedents of MS, FS Production Scenario pre and post MS implementation; Standard Operating Procedures for Frozen Semen Production; Rollout preparation for SSMS by NDP approved Semen Stations; Compliance with Traceability of Imported Germ Plasm & Semen produced from imported bulls; Feeding management of breeding bulls for early maturity and optimum semen production – Computation of Daily Ration for Breeding Bulls; Training needs and training programmes for personnel in FSS.