Recognition for three cattle semen production stations

Kerala is gearing up to play a critical role in a national-level project to enhance milk production through genetic improvement of livestock.

The three cattle semen production stations of the Kerala Livestock Development Board (KLDB) at Mattupatti in Idukki, Dhoni in Palakkad and Kulathupuzha in Kollam district have been awarded A grade by the Union Ministry of Agriculture, following a biennial assessment in 2013.

The grading makes all the three KLDB stations eligible for funding under the National Dairy Plan, a World Bank- assisted Central sector scheme that seeks to improve the productivity of milch animals. KLDB Managing Director Jose James told The Hindu that the three stations were graded under the minimum standards protocol for production of quality frozen semen. He said the bull farms at the three stations would be strengthened to meet the increased demand for cattle semen from across the country.

The three stations together produce more than 30 lakh doses of semen every year from stud bulls of pure and crossbred species including Jersey, Holstein Freisen, Gir, Rathi, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi, Sahiwal and local breeds like Vechur and Kasaragod Dwarf. The semen is used for artificial insemination of cattle. The stations regularly supply frozen bull semen to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, apart from domestic dairy farmers.

The farms are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including semen banks, computerised semen analysers and integrated production systems that enable a semen sample to be traced back to the animal from which it was drawn.

KLDB has a large-scale progeny testing project for genetic selection of breeding bulls.

Dr. James said the NDP would require Kerala to double its current frozen semen production over the next three years. The output, he said, would contribute to the national cattle semen pool.

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