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Nagaland produces world's first 'mithun' calf through embryo transfer technology

Kohima , Fri, 13 Apr 2012 ANI

Kohima, Apr 13 (ANI): In a historic achievement, the world's first ever mithun calf was produced through embryo transfer technology (ETT) in Nagaland recently.

Scientists have named the calf "Bharat", which was born on March 27 and is the result of five years of hard work on embryo transfer technology by scientists at the National Research Centre (NRC) on Mithuns in Nagaland.

Dr Kishore Kumar Baruah led the team along with Dr Mohan Mondal, Dr Chandan Rajkhowa and several others. The entire cost of the project was less than Rs 10 lakhs.

"For the last five years we are working on this project. We have tried this ETT on seven different occasions and today we have succeeded," said Bhaskar Bora, research associate, NRC-Mithun.

Embryo Transfer Technology is the process of removing embryos from a female and placing them in another, the surrogate mother, where they develop. The surrogate mother gives birth to an offspring that is genetically unrelated.

Mithun is a domesticated form of wild Gaur and is mainly confined to Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram in the Northeast. It weighs around 450 kg and produces around 1-1.5 litres of milk.

The new calf will help increase the population of mithuns in the region. It will attract more farmers to rear this domestic animal for its meat and skin. This technology has successfully been applied to pigs, cattle, horses, buffaloes and yaks.

The team is hopeful of getting three more mithun calves soon through this technology.Now we are planning that we should go in a very big way to the farming community through this technology. And now the second step we have taken with the financial help of Department of Biotechnology and ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) is that we have gone for a project to develop more embryos from transfer technology," said Chandan Rajkhowa, Director NCRM (ICAR).

The idea of the Mithun Institute was conceived in Vision 2030, with the aim to preserve, conserve and propagate superior quality Mithun germplasm for sustainable production system and subsequent utilization for better nutritional and socio-economic support to the farmers. (ANI)


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