India Imports Bull Semen from Brazil to Boost Milk Production: A Comprehensive Overview

India Imports Bull Semen from Brazil to Boost Milk Production: A Comprehensive Overview

India has recently imported 40,000 doses of bull semen from Brazil, marking the first time such an import has occurred. The initiative aims to enhance milk production through artificial insemination, with a focus on specific Indian native breeds – Gir and Kankrej.

Background and Stakeholders:

The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), a government-owned cooperative responsible for the Mother Dairy brand, has spearheaded this project. The Brazilian embassy’s agricultural attaché, Angelo de Queiroz Mauricio, has shed light on the lengthy discussions spanning three to four years leading up to the import.

Import Details and Potential Expansion:

The initial import involved 40,000 semen doses, and it remains unclear if India plans to acquire more doses in the future. This development is significant as India endeavors to achieve a target of 330 million tonnes of milk production annually by FY34.

India’s Current Milk Production Scenario:

India is the world’s largest milk producer, contributing 24% to global output. Despite this, the country’s current production matches its consumption, necessitating efforts to increase output to meet rising demand.

NDDB’s Research Project and Genetic Enhancement:

The NDDB plans to utilize the imported semen doses in an ongoing research project. The goal is to breed animals with Brazilian genetics, capable of producing over 80 liters of milk per animal, a significant increase compared to the current average of 8 liters in India.

Resistance and Historical Context:

The import of Brazilian bull semen faced resistance over the past four years from indigenous cow breeders concerned about potential harm to Indian breeds. Previous attempts in 2017 to import frozen semen were postponed due to objections from cattle breeders.

Discussion on Embryo Transfer:

Apart from semen import, discussions include the possibility of embryo transfer. This method is seen as advantageous due to the higher success rates associated with genetic material transfer. Unlike semen import, embryo transfer eliminates the need to find specific animals, increasing the chances of success.

India-Brazil Relationship and Collaboration:

India and Brazil share a close relationship, both bilaterally and in various international fora. The two countries have been strategic partners since 2006. This collaboration extends to areas like animal husbandry, including dairy, as highlighted in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) dating back to 2008.

Trade and Economic Context:

The bilateral trade relationship between India and Brazil has steadily grown, with a target to increase two-way trade to $50 billion by 2030. Trade stood at $15.2 billion in FY22, according to data from the Ministry of External Affairs.

MoU and Collaboration Details:

Under the umbrella agreement, an MoU exists between the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil (MAPA) and the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying in India (DAHD). This MoU focuses on the development of animal husbandry, emphasizing dairy, and includes commercial contracts between Indian buyers and Brazilian sellers.