Artificial insemination (AI) is a simple technique which is well adapted in dairy cattle and buffalo breeding. Its contribution in helping India achieve, the highest milk production of the world, cannot be ignored. The Bengal goat breed is known for its meat quality, adaptability and prolificacy. For the farmers in West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and adjoining states, it is the breed of choice. There is a scarcity in the availability of quality breeding bucks due to early castration and slaughter of male goats for meat purpose. As goats are mostly reared by small, marginal and landless farmers, with flock size of 3- 5 goats, it is economically unviable to keep a breeding buck for a small flock. Thus the females are bred by nondescript males’ resulting in loss of precious germplasm of the region. To prevent the dilution of valuable germplasm by indiscriminate mating and to preserve its purity and propagate this unique germplasm, Eastern Regional Station of ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Kalyani, West Bengal has worked on preservation of Bengal goat semen, standardisation of artificial insemination technique and transfer to the field.
Soybean-lecithin based animal-source free semen extender for goat semen preservation was developed. Liquid semen can be stored for about 72 hours at refrigeration temperature and could be used for artificial insemination with a conception rate of 47.26 percent. Training programmes were organised on goat AI to disseminate the AI technique to the field.
Frozen semen straws was made available from the institute to the AI workers. So far, more than 10,000 doses of semen straws have been supplied to the field.
Kalyan Koley, a progressive goat farmer from Hirat village, Hooghly district of West Bengal was trained on the production of frozen semen straws. Presently he supplies about 5,000 semen doses of Bengal goat semen per month, and also distributes in different districts of the state. Further he has been selected among the 50 new start-up businesses “SMARTFIFTY” sponsored by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, through Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata and provided with financial support to further propagate AI in goat throughout West Bengal and nearby states.