Indigenous “Semen Sexing in Cattle” technology is still a  distant reality

Pashu Sandesh, 03 July 2019

Indigenous Semen Sexing technology still seems to be a distant reality as evident from the reply of the MoS for fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Sanjeev Balyan given in the Lok Sabha in response to a question on 2nd July. 

Excerpts from the Reply of the Minister:

As per information received from ICAR, the project on “Semen Sexing in Cattle” at ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal sanctioned for the period of three years (2015- 2017) has been extended up to 2020. 

Under the project on “Semen Sexing in Cattle”, the following technologies have been standardised by ICAR:

1) Selection of high fertile bulls with more than 50% conception rate at an early age through technologies like Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) of testicular tissue, use of Ultrasonography and Infrared Thermography

2) Reduction of sperm dose (from 20 million to 5 million) per straw (0.25 ml) without compromising fertility (more than 40% conception rate) in indigenous and crossbred cattle and Murrah buffaloes.

In addition, a project entitled “Targeted immobilisation of Y-bearing spermatozoa and modulation of oviduct milieu for skewing sex ratio towards female offspring in dairy cattle” has also been sanctioned by ICAR for funding through National Agriculture Science Fund (NASF) to Southern Research Station, ICAR-NDRI at Bengaluru for a period of three years (2018-2021).

Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying is also assisting States for the establishment of semen sexing facility at semen stations under Rashtriya Gokul Mission. Under the scheme 11 projects of States have been sanctioned on the basis of available technology which is of foreign origin as Indian technology for semen sexing in cattle is not yet available.

As per the reply of the Minister, the Project on Semen Sexing in Cattle at ICAR- NDRI Karnal sanctioned for the period of three years (2015-2017) has been extended up to 2020. Which effectively means that India has to rely on foreign technology for some more time. It is ironical that even after making projects and spending so much hard-earned money of the taxpayers, the responsible agencies fail to meet the expectations and aspirations of the country. Any such delay in the completion of projects would only lead to an escalation of the estimated cost and additional financial burden.