Ganga: India's First Cloned Cow Signals a Landmark Achievement in Cattle Cloning for Sustainable Milk Production


In a significant development for India's dairy industry, the ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) in Karnal has achieved a breakthrough in cattle cloning, paving the way for sustainable milk production. The recent birth of a cloned Gir female calf named Ganga has brought new hope to the Indian dairy sector.

Ganga: India's First Cloned Cow Signals a Landmark Achievement in Cattle Cloning
Ganga,India's First Cloned Cow(Centre)

India, the world's largest milk-producing nation, relies heavily on cows for its dairy industry. In the 2022-23 period, cows contributed a staggering 110.5 million tonnes, which accounts for 50% of the country's total milk production of 221.06 million tonnes. However, the low productivity of indigenous cow breeds, yielding only 3-4 kg of milk per day, has posed a significant challenge for the industry.

Recognizing the potential of assisted reproductive technologies, the NDRI initiated a project to clone indigenous cows, including Gir, Sahiwal, and Red Sindhi breeds. After two years of dedicated research and development, the scientists at NDRI achieved a major milestone with the birth of Ganga, a cloned Gir female calf, on March 16, 2023.

Gir cattle, hailing from Gujarat, are highly valued for their ability to tolerate stress and resist tropical diseases. Beyond India's borders, Gir cattle have been exported to countries like Brazil, the United States, Mexico, and Venezuela to enhance zebu cow development.

The successful birth of Ganga through the cattle cloning technique highlights the feasibility and potential of this advanced reproductive technology in India. The handmade cloning technology developed by NDRI has already produced over 30 cloned buffaloes, demonstrating its simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency.

With the Indian government's proposal to increase the coverage of artificial insemination from 30% to 80-90% by the end of 2025, the use of embryo technologies to create elite germplasm has gained traction. Cattle cloning offers an accelerated pathway to multiply superior cows and upgrade the genetic potential of low milk producers.

The breakthrough in cattle cloning technology is expected to bring new dimensions to India's efforts in producing quality indigenous dairy animals. By utilizing advanced reproductive technologies, the aim is to enhance the overall productivity of the dairy sector and ensure a sustainable future for milk production in the country.

This achievement not only holds promise for farmers but also reinforces India's position as a global leader in dairy production. As the nation continues to explore innovative solutions, the successful implementation of cattle cloning technology could revolutionize the dairy industry, opening new doors for genetic improvement and increased milk productivity.

The birth of Ganga signifies a remarkable step forward for India's dairy sector and highlights the potential impact of cloning techniques in achieving sustainable milk production. The NDRI's groundbreaking research will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications, positively shaping the future of India's dairy industry.

  • News Article Written By N.L Selokar,M.K.Singh And Others ,ICAR,Karnal,India 
  • Published in Current Science,VOL.125,NO.1,10 JULY2023.

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