Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Brazil for cooperation in the fields of Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies. The MoU was signed in October, 2016.
The MoU will strengthen the existing friendly relations between India and Brazil and promote development of Genomics and Assistant Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in Cattle through joint activities to be implemented through mutually agreed procedures.
An implementation committee shall be created with an equal number of representatives of each party for the purpose of regularly determining the activities and developing work plans and subsequently their evaluation.
It will be done through joint projects in the fields of Productivity Improvement of cattle and buffaloes, for the purpose of broadening the existing knowledge base on sustainable dairy development and institutional strengthening.
The MoU would promote and facilitate scientific cooperation and setting up of genomic selection programme in Zebu Cattle through (a) application of genomic in Zebu Cattle and their crosses and buffaloes (b) application of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in cattle and buffaloes (c) capacity building in genomic and assisted reproductive technology (d) Related research and development in Genomics and ART in accordance with the respective laws and regulations of the two countries and is covered under Rule 7 (d) (i) of the Second Schedule of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961.
Indo-Brazilian cattle are a Zebu beef breed developed in Brazil from Gir, Kankrej and Ongole Cattle brought from India. While this is nearly the same mixture which produced the American Brahman, the two breeds differ in appearance, with the Indo-Brazilian having much longer ears which hang down lower, like the Nelore. Indo-Brazilian cattle have good heat and parasite resistance and thrive in the tropics. They are white to dark grey in colour with short horns and very large ears. They have the typical Zebu shoulder hump.
Commercialization of animal biotechnologies, including those related to reproduction, also known as Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ARTS), is an increasing reality in developing countries, following the enormous flow of information and the increasing global commercial interests in areas where cattle production has its major assets.
Collaboration between India and Brazil for cattle genomics has already began. The Telangana government has decided to have its own proto-type of “Zebu” with the objective of improving milk production of its desi cows. Towards achieving this endeavour, it has tied up with the Brazilian government on a project to improve the milk production potential of desi cows by bringing the semen and embryos of Brazil-developed Indian-breed cattle such as Gir and Ongole Bull alias Zebu.
The Brazilian government has in principle agreed to set up an Indo-Brazil Centre of Excellence for Cattle and Sheep Breeding, a research and development facility, at Nizamabad as part of the Gopal Gram scheme, and would provide its technical expertise and also train officials. ‘Gokul Gram’ scheme envisages conservation and development of native cattle breeds.
Experts from Brazil will also help the Telangana government to increase semen production from 15 lakh doses to 30 lakh doses a year at the Frozen Bull Station at Kamsanpalli near Shadnagar.