India ranks first in milk production, achieving an annual output of 155.48 million tons during 2015-16 accounting for 19 % of world production.
Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has set target for 100 million Artificial Insemination for 2017-18.
A National goal of 300 million ton milk production by 2023-24 has been kept along with increasing the productivity of 40.77 million breedable Indigenous non-descript cows from 2.15 Kg per day to 5.00 Kg per day during the same period.
India has a bovine population of 300 million as per 19th Livestock census 2012. Out of 190 million cattle population, 20% are exotic and crossbreds (39 million) and about 80% belonging to indigenous and Non-descript breeds.
While India accounts for more than 18% of the world population, the normal Indian cow with the poor farmer barely gives 1 to 2 litres per day. Thus 80% of the cow population gives only 20% of cow milk.
Though India maintains its top ranking in milk production, on the flip side, about 80% Cattle belonging to Indigenous and Non-descript breeds are low yielders whose productivity needs to be improved by adopting appropriate breeding techniques.
Key strategy for increasing productivity is through ensuring Artificial Insemination (A.I.). A.I plays a vital role in improving the productivity of Bovines by upgrading their genetic potential thereby enhancing the milk production and productivity in the country.
This core activity is fortified through the ongoing flag ship schemes, National Programme for Bovine Breeding (NPBB) and Indigenous Breeds (IB) under the Umbrella scheme Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM).
These programmes envisage twin benefits namely (i) To improve the productivity and enhance milk production and (ii) To increase farmers income that will facilitate the Government’s ambitious goal of doubling their income by 2020.
Though the breeding infra structure has been strengthened substantially for the delivery of breeding inputs at farmers’ doorstep under these schemes, the A.I. coverage is still 26% of the breedable population.
As per 2015-16 data made available by the States, an Artificial Insemination worker merely performs 1.92 A.I per day as against the required average of atleast 4 A.I. per day. Further 3 semen doses are used for achieving one successful conception. Thus there is wastage of high quality semen due to usage of 3 semen doses for each successful A.I. This poor situation is further aggravated by usage of Indigenous bull semen being merely 11% of total A.I coverage.
To facilitate the government’s ambitious goal of doubling farmers income by 2020, a State Wise target of 100 million Artificial Insemination has been shared for 2017-18. Directions have been given to States by Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF) in this regard.