After the success in setting standard limits of somatic cell counts (SCC) in the milk of indigenous cattle and Murrah buffalo of the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) farm, the scientists of NDRI, here, have started work on developing a set of reference values of SCC of all dairy breeds of the country.
Develop predictive models
We will set benchmark standards for milk somatic cells and develop computer-stimulated predictive models to link patterns of risk factors associated with higher SCC in indigenous dairy animals. Dr Ajay Kumar Dang, Principal Scientist, NDRI
The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, has sanctioned project “Generation of milk somatic cell reference values and intelligent predictive modelling for monitoring mammary profile and milk quality of indigenous dairy animals”.
Scientists will screen high and low-producing dairy animals from various parts of the country to set desirable milk SCC levels in the indigenous breeds. They will also set a computer-stimulated predictive model to identify the risk factors associated with higher somatic cells.
As per the scientists, high percentage of SCC in milk is not good for the animal, producer and consumer. High milk somatic cell count leads to poor mammary health, lesser milk synthesis, poor fertility and also reduced yield of dairy products. “Scientists have started work on this project, under which they will develop a set of reference values for SSC in the milk of indigenous cows, buffaloes and goats,” said Dr Manmohan Singh Chauhan, director, NDRI.
“India continues to be the largest producer of milk in the world. Milk production in the country has increased from 146.3 million metric tonnes in 2014-15 to 200 million metric tonnes in 2020-21, but export of milk stands only at about 10 per cent. This project will help Indian dairy farmers in achieving low milk somatic cell counts, reduce mammary infections and help to produce Grade A milk and its products,” Dr Chauhan added.
Dr Chauhan added that this would boost consumer confidence in the safety of traditional milk products, profits to Indian dairy farmers and increase the welfare of the milk-producing animals.
Source : The Tribune 16th Feb 2022, by Praveen Arora