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Odisha government has launched the ‘Sex Sorted Semen’ technology under the artificial insemination programme in a bid to boost the state’s dairy sector and enhance the income of farmers.

The technology will ensure up to 90 per cent chance of production of female calves with high genetic merit along with reduction of male progeny, thereby reducing the burden of farmers to manage male bull calves, state Fisheries & Animal Resources Development Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo said at a function here on Wednesday to mark the launch.

Male and female calves born are in the ratio of 50:50 while using the normal unsexed semen. Over the years there has been less demand for male calves and farmers leave them to stray, causing an increase in the stray cattle population.

“Sex sorted semen technology will enhance the milk production in the state through production of around 90 per cent of female calves,” the minister said.

The fisheries and animal resources development department is focusing on cattle breed improvement programs to increase milk production with use of semen of high genetic potential bulls, he said.

He said bovine breeding in the past two decades has played a key role in boosting farmers’ income in the state. Milk production in the state has increased around threefold during the period from 8.75 lakh metric tons in 2000 to over 23.731akh metric tons in 2021.

With dairy development identified as an engine of growth for farmers, women self help groups and entrepreneurs, the government has taken up genertic improvement of breed through artificial insemination in a mission mode. Currently around 15 lakh cows are being inseminated annually free of cost, Sahoo said.

Besides, a number of measures have been taken up for the development of livestock farmers and over 2,63,000 dairy farmers of the state are now able to sell their milk to OMFED (Odisha milk federation) through 3700 milk producers’ cooperative societies.

Sahoo said immunisation of livestock population is being taken up as a campaign twice a year to control foot and mouth disease, which is considered a killer disease in cattle. Fodder cultivation is encouraged through promotion of high yielding species of annual and perennial fodder species.

Elaborating on the measures taken by the state government to promote the dairy sector, the minister said subsidy of up to Rs 50 lakh is being provided to farmers and entrepreneurs under Mukhyamantree Krushi Udyog Yojana to set up new dairy units and milk processing plants.

Odisha Agriculture Production commissioner, Sanjeev Chopra said that sex sorted semen of advanced breeds such as the Gir, Sahiwal, cross bred Jersey and Holstein Friesian would be available for farmers in the state. The artificial insemination programme is being implemented in accordance with the Odisha Bovine Breeding Policy, he said.

Principal secretary to the animal resources development department, R Raghu Prasad said that the sex sorted semen programme will be implemented in all districts of Odisha and the state government will provide 75 per cent subsidy to the dairy farmers.

While the cost of a single dose of sex sorted semen is Rs 715, the government provides it to dairy farmers at Rs 180 per dose, he said.

In areas covered by Odisha Mineral Bearing Area Development Corporation program, the sex sorted semen program will be given 100 per cent subsidy.

During 2022- 23, initially over 5.50 lakh doses of sex sorted semen will be utilized to cover over 1.20 lakh dairy animals in the state, Prasad said. 

Source : Outlook India 7th April 2022