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Cattle Genomics: Taking Indigenous Livestock to Pole Position

As a part of the Government’s focus on the development of programmes that aim to directly and positively impact people’s lives rapidly, the Ministry of Science and Technology has been at the forefront in many of these initiatives. Farmer-Centric initiative of this Ministry is Cattle Genomics.

Livestock contributes significantly to the livelihood of rural poor in our country and has enormous potential to reduce poverty. There is a predicted increase in demand for animal food products in India by 2020.  In the wake of climate change challenges, quality breeding of indigenous livestock is essential. When breeding is selective, the native livestock can transform the lives of small farmers.

  • Genomic selection will ensure high-yielding, disease-resistant, resilient livestock.
  • Selecting hardy livestock that give high-yields.Better livestock can be genetically, selected which ultimately leads to enhancement of productivity in a sustainable, resilient manner.
  • Traditional Breeding takes timeGenetic improvement of livestock through traditional selection for increasing livestock productivity has major limitations. To overcome these, genomic selection has played a crucial role in livestock industry globally.
  • Global best methods for local livestock. Genomic selection will transform local livestock breeding. This uses information on variation in DNA sequences between animals to predict the breeding value of animals more accurately.
  • Genome sequencing of indigenous cattle breeds from all registered cattle breeds of India by involving various stakeholders is to start soon.
  • Development of high-density DNA chips. This will reduce the cost and time interval of breeding program in future and productivity of indigenous cattle will be enhanced.

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