Know about Rashtriya Gokul Mission

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Cows in India
The newly appointed Modi government is mulling to launch national programme called ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission' to protect local cow breeds. According to reports, an amount of Rs 500 crore has been earmarked for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development programme and out of which Rs 150 crore will be specially allocated for the protection of indigenous cow breeds. 

Let's discuss all issue related with this new endeavor of the Modi Government.

What is being planned?
• The aim of the mission is to protect Indigenous cow from being cross-bred into different varieties.
• Focus will be largely to give a push to local breeding programme on the line of elite local breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi to enhance milk production.
• The local cow breed will be protected through traditional-style "gaushalas" or cattle-care centres.
• The scheme has provision to acknowledge those farmers who works rigorously in the direction.
• The "Gopal Ratna" awards will be conferred to them.
• The scheme also makes a point about upkeep of cattle after their milk producing phase gets over and then they often used for the purpose of meat.

Official reaction
• The Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, "The Mission aims to conserve and develop indigenous breeds in a focused and scientific manner and for that breeding facilities will be set up for varieties with high-genetic pedigree".
• He further stated, indigenous cattle are largely ignored despite the fact that they are better adapted to the country's climate".

What is the Idea behind the Mission?
• The idea is to increase milk production which is dismal in comparison to US, UK, and Israel.
• Though India has attained the numero uno position in milk production but that is only because the country is home of world's largest livestock population.
• Through the progarmme, the aim is to increase high yield per cow which is very low in comparison to the European countries like US.

Low yield per cow in India
• The average daily milk yield for crossbred cattle in India is at 7.1 kg per day while it is at 25.6 in UK, US (32.8) and Israel (38.6).
• The reason behind the low yield in India is because of intrinsic and extrinsic factors both.
• The intrinsic factor is low genetic potential while extrinsic is related with number of reasons like poor nutrition and feed management, inferior farm management practices and inefficient implementation of breed improvement programmes.
• At present, India is largely using Jersey, a native of Netherlands and British origin Holstein for cross-breeding purposes.

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