Nourishing the Nation:
Initial efforts for dairy development were made by Dr. Manibhai Desai before he founded BAIF by maintaining a herd of champion Gir cows at the Nisargopachar Ashram at Urulikanchan which was awarded the Gopal Ratna for five consecutive years.
For the rural family, the improved dairy animals were like modern day ‘charkha’ providing gainful self-employment and remunerative livelihood to millions in their own environs.
The cryogenic system to the last mile was launched for artificial insemination at the farmer’s doorstep.
Livestock development was the first step in fulfilling the mission of gainful self-employment and sustainable livelihood for the rural population as it could positively impact millions of farming households in the country.
The strategy for meeting this goal involved producing a superior progeny by breeding local non-descript cattle with semen from home-born bulls of high genetic merit and then back-crossing the crossbreds with the Indian dairy cattle breeds.
The crossbred cow represented the modern ‘charkha’ for rural self-employment.
Availability of sexed semen for poor farmers has recently been introduced at the field level.
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Work has now been initiated on development of indigenous breeds and application of genomics.
Goats for the small holder – the poor woman’s ATM.
The Goat Development Programme is being implemented in 8 states, enabling more than 9000 women goat keepers to adopt good husbandry practices.