A DAIRY COW grazes in a field in the northern Indian state of Haryana..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A unique project for the production of cow embryos by means of egg donation and implantation in surrogate cows is being established near Mumbai using Israeli planning and information. This is the first project of its kind in the world that will enable the raising of cows with large milk production, in order to increase the local production of milk.
The farm was designed by Alef Bet Planners Group for 40 cows, which will donate embryos to another 450 cows that will serve as surrogate mothers. The donor cows are excellent Holstein breeders that have been brought in from locations all over India.
The process of fertilization will allow for the fertilization of female calves only, thus relieving farmers from the stress of having to raise male calves. The farm will raise the calves until they themselves become pregnant, which will then be sold to dairy farmers in their sixth month of pregnancy, so that they can enjoy a high milk output after birth.
According to project manager Ronen Feigenbaum from Alef Bet Planners Group, the average milk output of cows in India today is about 1,300 liters a year, which is only one-tenth of the average in Israel. India is now the world’s largest milk producer, but this output is achieved in a very inefficient and low-quality manner by 90 million cows.
Due to its extensive population, India is forced to import huge quantities of milk and is the world’s second largest milk importer after China.
India is trying to reduce milk imports by increasing domestic milk production. While in the rest of the world it is customary to increase milk production by importing high-quality cows to improve performance rates, cattle imports are prohibited in India because of cows’ exalted status. Dairy farmers could improve their herds by standard artificial insemination from quality breeder sperm, but the process of insemination is slow and takes many years and several generations of cows. The new farm will provide farmers with calves that are six-months pregnant with embryos with quality genetic data from both sides.
The institute was established in cooperation with Israeli company “Maximilk” together with a giant Indian concern. The milking equipment will be supplied by Israeli company SCR.
The sperm for embryo fertilization will come from Europe and the United States, and in the future maybe even from Israel.
Currently, the project is operating in a limited format and the institute is expected to launch its full activity within a year.
Alef Bet Planners Group is the third largest planning firm in Israel. The firm, which is jointly owned by kibbutzim and private planners, has already designed hundreds of cowsheds, farms and villages around the world.
The new project in India is the most unique and complex project they’ve ever engaged in due to the need to integrate advanced technology alongside principles of Indian belief and the sanctity of the cow.BE ALL
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Translated by Hannah Hochner.