India’s first batch of IVF buffalo calves born amidst lockdown

India’s first batch of IVF buffalo calves born amidst lockdown

JK Trust, a social initiative of Raymond group, has announced India’s first batch of IVF (In vitro fertilisation) buffalo calves that took birth on a large Buffalo Farm located near Rahu at Daund taluka in Pune district. This first of its kind initiative was pioneered by JKBovagenix, an initiative of JK Trust, a leading NGO working in the field of animal husbandry and is currently implementing “Cattle and Buffalo Breed Improvement Programme” throughout the country.

These 5 IVF buffalo calves which were born from four buffaloes on Sonawane Buffalo Farm near Pune also has the first case of twin buffalo calves born through IVF in India. These calves are of Murrah breed which is one of the world’s most renowned buffalo breeds.

JK Trust is successfully implementing various cattle breed initiatives that are in line with ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’. The organisation has been producing calves from cows through IVF and now has found success in producing calves from buffalo by deploying Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).

Commenting on the achievement, Gautam Hari Singhania, Chairman & Managing Director, Raymond Group said; “I am delighted with the milestone achieved by JKBovegenix to produce buffalo calves through IVF. This is one of its kind initiative that upholds the potential to give a significant boost to our national dairy production. It is imperative that in today’s context we conserve our indigenous cattle and buffalo breeds, as the milk given by them contain higher nutritional value to fight diseases. Also, increasing the Indian dairy produce can usher in more growth at the grassroot level across Indian villages.”

JK Trust has been pivotal for establishing 94 IVF pregnancies from a Gir Donor cow ‘GAURI’ in a span of past 16 months. Out of 94 IVF pregnancies, 64 are at JK Trust’s farm and the rest 30 are at farmers’ doorsteps. Till now, 39 calves are born and remaining calves are expected to be born in the current year. This latest initiative is supposed to be a breakthrough in cattle

Reproduction, as a cow normally produces a maximum of only 8-10 calves in her entire lifespan. This initiative will pave the way for rapid multiplication of superior female animals at a much faster pace.

Commenting on the successful birth of buffalo calves through IVF, Dr. Shyam Zawar, CEO- JK Trust said; “India has more than 109 million buffaloes that are 56 percent of the world’s buffalo population. India is also home to Murrah, one of the world’s most renowned buffalo breeds. Using Assisted Reproductive Technology in buffaloes can enable India to multiply the population of genetically superior buffaloes resulting in higher quantity milk yield. Though, In-vitro Fertilization in buffaloes is comparatively difficult than cows, the latest Assisted Reproductive Technology needs to be popularised and should be used in buffaloes.”

JKBovaGenix has been instrumental for first IVF calf in India from frozen IVF embryo on January 9, 2017.JKBovaGenix initiative was launched by JK Trust in the year 2016, to reinforce their commitment towards cattle and buffalo breed improvement program in India and hasten the pace of breed improvement. After successful trials at their Cattle ET-IVF Lab located near Pune, with a mission to bring this technology for the greater benefit of the farmers, the organisation established four mobile ET-IVF Vans, which are reaching out to the farmers’ doorsteps. JKBovgenix’s IVF facilities and the cattle breeding farm located near Pune is approved and recognised by Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Government of India for imparting IVF training to officers of Embryo Transfer (ET) labs of various states of India.

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