Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) has been launched in December 2014 with an outlay of Rs 2025 crore for development and conservation of indigenous breeds through selective breeding in the breeding tract and genetic upgradation of nondescript bovine population.
- The scheme comprises of two components namely National Programme for Bovine Breeding (NPBB) and National Mission on Bovine Productivity (NMBP).
Need of the hour:
- India has 299.6 million bovine populations out of which 190.9 million are cattle and 108.7 million are buffaloes. Of this, 80% of cattle are indigenous and Non- descript breeds.
- The bovine genetic resource of India is represented by 41 registered indigenous breeds of cattle and 13 registered buffalo breeds. Indigenous bovine are robust and resilient and are particularly suited to the climate and environment of their respective breeding tracts. The milk of indigenous animals is high in fat and SNF content.
- There are also studies to suggest that the productivity of indigenous breeds will be impacted to a much lesser extent than exotic animals due to climate change. However, the number of indigenous animals is declining and some breeds like Punganur have become threatened. For this purpose RGM has been initiated to promote conservation and development of indigenous breeds.
- Development and conservation of indigenous breeds;
- Breed improvement programme for indigenous breeds so as to improve the genetic makeup and increase the stock;
- Enhancing milk production and productivity of bovine population by increasing disease free high genetic merit female population and check on spread of diseases ;
- Upgrading nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi ;
- Distribution of disease free high genetic merit bulls for natural service;
- To bring all breedable females under organised breeding through AI or natural service using germ plasm of high genetic merits;
- To arrange quality Artificial Insemination (AI) services at farmers’ doorstep;
- To create e-market portal for bovine germplasm for connecting breeders and farmers;
- To increase trade of livestock and livestock products by meeting out sanitary and phyto sanitary (SPS) issues;
- To select breeding bulls of high genetic merit at a young age through application of genomics.
Significant initiatives under RGM:
Awards for encouraging farmers/breeder societies to rear Indigenous breeds of Bovines:
- In order to motivate farmers for rearing of indigenous breeds and to enhance the production and productivity of indigenous breeds, the following awards have been instituted under RGM every year .
- Gopal Ratna awards: For farmers maintaining the best herd of Indigenous Breed(s) and practicing best management practices.
- Kamdhenu awards: For Best managed Indigenous Herd by Institutions/Trusts/ NGOs/ Gaushalas or best managed Breeders’ Societies. There are three Gopal Ratna awards (1st, 2nd and 3rd position) and three Kamdhenu awards respectively for five regions viz: i) Hill and North Eastern; ii) North; iii) South; iv) East and v) West.
Each award will consist of a citation and an incentive of Rs 5,00,000/-, Rs.3,00,00/-and Rs 1,00,000/- each respectively for 1st, 2nd and 3rd position for every region. In case of equal scoring the cash incentive component of the award is shared accordingly. Awards under the mission are being bestowed since 2017-18 and so far 22 Gopal Ratna and 21 Kamdhenu awards have been distributed.
The Rashtriya Gokul Mission also envisages establishment of integrated cattle development centres ‘Gokul Grams’ to develop indigenous breeds including upto 40% nondescript breeds.
- To promote indigenous cattle rearing and conservation in a scientific manner.
- To propagate high genetic merit bulls of indigenous breeds.
- To optimize modern Farm Management practices and promote Common Resource Management.
- To utilize animal waste in economical way i.e. Cow Dung, Cow Urine.
National Kamdhenu Breeding Centre:
Under RGM, two “National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres” (NKBC) are being established as Centres of Excellence to develop and conserve Indigenous Breeds in a holistic and scientific manner. The main objectives NKBC are as follows:
- Conservation, promotion and development of 41 species of cattle and 13 species of animals.
- 1000 High Genetic Merit Indigenous animals will be maintained at each centre of all registered breeds
- Each center will be set up in about 1000 hectares for this purpose. Machinery for making modern semen centers, veterinary clinics, Biogas plants, arrangements of balanced diet, gumutra and dung materials etc. will also be established. Apart from this, arrangements for Vermi-Compost, Silage Pit, Training, Milk Processing etc. will also be arranged.
- Special emphasis on development of extinct species
- Marking the characteristics of all species and early evolution