Jul 13, 2012

Brazil is the biggest exporter of Indian breeds of cows. Gir cow now records over 62 litres/day in Brazil..



This majestic cow is from Brazil. Belonging to the Gir breed of Gujarat, this cow -- named She-ra -- clocked 62.033 litres of milk in a 3-day milk competition at the 40th Expaja in Brazil, beating her own record of 59.947 litres. While Indian cattle breeds are doing exceptionally fine abroad, the fascination of our own policy makers for exotic breeds seems to be never ending. Meanwhile, Brazil has emerged as the biggest exporter of Indian breeds of cows. Recently I wrote: "newspapers in Punjab reported that an American company -- World Wide Sires Ltd -- is planning to provide high quality semen to dairy farmers. Some days back, I had heard that the Kerala minister for Animal Husbandry was thinking of importing some improved cattle breeds from Denmark for cross breeding with local cows." [See my blog post: Holy Cows -- acclaimed abroad, despised at home. http://devinder-sharma.blogspot.in/2010/09/holy-cows-acclaimed-abroad-despised-at.html].

A few weeks back, Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal announced the setting up of an advanced institute for dairy farming in Mohali. This will be a joint collaboration with an Israeli firm -- Dairy Farming Solutions -- and will impart latest technology to farmers to improve the milch cattle [Punjab to have advanced institute of dairy farming, http://post.jagran.com/punjab-to-have-advanced-institute-of-dairy-farming-1341507876].

Not only in Brazil, Indian cattle breeds have also been improved upon in the United States and Australia. In the US, the breed is called Brahman. Recently, after a study visit to Malaysia, Sagari Ramdas, the co-director of Anthra in Andhra Pradesh, wrote in the Down to Earth magazine: "On our visit to Malaysia, we were intrigued when we came across a cattle breed, which the farmers kept referring to as “the Brahman”. This was a complete mystery to us. Which Brahman came to Malaysia and named these cattle the Brahman?"

"On our visit to the government’s Department of Veterinary Services in the state of Selangor we saw photographs of the Grey Brahman, the Red Brahman and the Nellore—all part of a poster on cattle breeds of Malaysia. Not to mention that the Jamunapari goat also featured in the poster as a goat breed of the country. This intrigued us even further, but none of the veterinary officers could explain how the Nellore from Andhra Pradesh and the Jamunapari from Uttar Pradesh happened to figure in a poster on the breeds of Malaysia."

She came back and researched. "Brahman breed is a product of biopiracy of several Indian breeds, which occurred over 100 years ago, when India was a colony of the British Empire, when “pirates” of today’s “Empire”—and modern day “Brahman”, the US—spirited out a nucleus of approximately 266 bulls and 22 females of several Bos indicus (Indian cattle), imported them to the US between 1854 and 1926, and developed the breed.

According to the literature, the Brahman is the progeny of four Indian cattle breeds: the Kankrej and Gir from Gujarat, the Ongole (earlier known as the Nellore) from Andhra Pradesh, with the fourth breed being the “Gujarat”. But no such breed exists in the list of Indian cattle breeds.

The Brahman has become the most popular beef cattle breed in the southern parts of the US and in South America, Asia, and Australia because of its excellent adaptability to sub-tropical climates and its production abilities.

Brahman-type cattle were, in fact, imported to Australia from the US, and today the Australian Brahman is the mainstay of the northern beef industry of Australia. The Brahman in Malaysia has primarily been imported from Australia, which has a virtual monopoly in exporting the breed to several south-east Asian countries. So much so that Malaysia’s beef cattle industry is completely dependent on continued import of the Brahman from Australia [You can read the full article The loss of our breeds, Down to Earth, 2012-7-15. http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/loss-our-breeds]."

This brings me back to the question I have been asking again and again. When will we begin to recognise our desi breeds of cows? Why is it that planners are averse to our own domestic breeds?

What is also little know is the fact that Indian cows and buffaloes produce a more nutritious milk than the exotic breeds like Jersey and Holstein-Friesian. A recent study by Karnal-based National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) showed Indian cows have a rich A2 allele gene which helps them produce healthier milk. The frequency of this A2 allele in Indian breeds is 100 per cent whereas in exotic cattle breeds it is less than 60 per cent. Imported breeds posses A1 allele, which is considered to be associated with diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases [Indian Cow, Buffalo breeds give healthier milk. http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=725938]. Why do we want the future generations to be sick with lifestyle diseases?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are so right about India valuing its own cows. How strange to have them be imported back to India.

But there was a part of the article that stuck out as another issue. Who is behind this? Punjab to have advanced institute of dairy farming, http://post.jagran.com/punjab-to-have-advanced-institute-of-dairy-farming-1341507876

Given that the Punjab was the center of the Green Revolution and what Monsanto has already done to farming in India, and that Bill Gates and Monsanto are very interested in genetically engineering milk , this announcement seems a concern. "Advanced Institute" of dairy farming sounds disturbingly like biotech speak.

See Gates and Monsanto Go After Milk http://salem-news.com/articles/june122012/monsanto-gates-dp.php

Anne Sullivan
USA

Subodh said...

Veterinary experts of Govt of India have not accepted that A1 milk is health impairing , and therefore continue with their policy of destroying not only Indian cows, but making future Indian generations suffer diabetes obesity cancer etc. on epidemic scale. Govts world over have their own agenda. Europe is not much bothered because most of the European cows have more A2 allel. NZ farmers Unions have ignored their Govts' studied indecision on A1A2 milk and have moved on to convert their herd to A2. All the surplus unwanted A1 milk producing HF breed is to be dumped on India under the veil of helping growth of India' milk production.How can Indian Veterinary babus be made to understand the A1A2 politics of the world milk situation. US experts are already working to change the genes of HF to introduce A2 allel. Till then India is the favourite dumping ground for unwanted world HF.

kaps said...

this makes my head crack.... bio pirates....

Anonymous said...

i m agree with subodh sir.

Anonymous said...

Hi, do anyone have pure gir calf
I already have 3. Still required 2.

Subodh said...

Brazil Gir cows producing 65 liters Milk per day,are not a suitable model for India. All high milk yielding cows suffer from immense body mineral depletion after every calving. Normally all such cows have to be sent to slaughter houses after three or four Calving. We aim to get the optimum milk production from a cow in consideration of its body size. Thus Gir can be kept for up to 20 liters milk per day and provide more than 10 calving normally.

Hrishikesh Jobanputra said...

Mr. Devinder, You observations are valid and extremely notable. It's a very poor state of our mind-set that we are not giving enough attention to our own breeds and western nations are taking advantage of the same breed in many different ways. It hurts too much. But not anymore. We are on a mission to save our Gir Cows. We have started a Gaushala specifically to nurture and breed Gir Cows. Please take a look at our website >http://www.amrutgir.com/
I look forward to discuss these facts some more with you. It would be wonderful to have a few tips and insights from you to give us boost to our mission.

SEJ Johnsson said...

Here in Brasil the avarage milk production - Gir cow is 2.500 / 3.000 kg of milk in 310 days lactation.
This cow in the photo produce this amount in very, very, especial conditions, with a lot o food, and drugs too - hormones, BST, and ocitocine..and empty (no calf...).
Some breeders here keep the best cows empties (with no calf)...adn especial traitment..fodd etc...homrones, to produce very high lactations - as marketing, only...teh milk liter produecd from this cows cost more then 10 times the comercial price pay to the producer...
But yes..we have very good Gir, Kankrej, Sindi cows in apsture and normal maintence producing 2.500/3.000 per lactation and a calf every 14-16 months...
But we have plenty of water and very good grass, and soya, and corn, and other food for the cows....

Anonymous said...

Hi!
Been curious about the situation of desi cows so stumbled upon this blog. I am trying to move to desi cow milk and ghee with help of NGO swarg organics who are bangalore based. The price of milk is currently Rs 80 per L. Quantity is not yet consistent due to supply model/ health of cows. Scale and sourcing dont permit lower pricing. That also makes fresh desi cow milk a less viable option for many. Convenience of not boiling milk, storage etc that comes with tetrapack has also spoiled the upper middle class habit of buying state run dairy milk like nandini,aavin , making an effort to procure desi cow milk is a fantasy of the organic freak only! :(
Reading about the white revolution and subsequent field policies is frustrating, u feel cheated by the govt. Hope we wake up and shake up the babus soon while continuing to support local organiztions in protecting desi breeds and the farmers who feed us all.

Anonymous said...

Subodh says "Brazil Gir cows producing 65 liters Milk per day,are not a suitable model for India." However, the article states the cow 'She-ra -- clocked 62.033 litres of milk in a 3-day milk competition'. So, the article only states in a 3 day competition 62 + liters/milk was produced. I would presume this cow averaged 20 liters/day for a total of 62+ liters/day. It would be incredible for this type of production on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Subodh sir.........Thanks for your valuable advise.......Pawan Shakya

Anonymous said...

Thanks subodh sir......Pawan Shakya