16 January 2019 - 10 Shevat 5779 - י' שבט ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Israeli companies help boost milk production in India E-mail

Israeli firm AlefBet Planners Ltd is starting a surrogate cow farm near Mumbai to help meet the growing demand for milk from India’s surging middle class.

The farm will house 40 Holstein cows that serve as egg donors, and some 450 surrogates that will carry the embryos — impregnated with bovine sperm from the US, Europe and, possibly, Israel — to term. Calves born at the farm will be sold to Indian farmers when the calves born at the farm are six months pregnant, they will be sold to Indian farmers, the company said in a statement.

India’s milk production continues to fall short of demand, which is rising with growing incomes and urbanisation, according to a report by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. India’s dairy industry is considered a low-output system, made up primarily of small farmers with fewer than five cows or water buffalos, the report said. Low genetic potential is one of the key factors affecting cows’ productivity.

Maxximilk, an Israeli company that is collaborating on the Mumbai-area farm with Alef- Bet and India’s Godrej Group, specialises in in-vitro fertilisation of cows. The process can enable dairy farmers to bypass decades-long breeding programmes and grow herds of champion milk-producing cows within 32 months, the company says on its website.

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