Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Tuesday batted for the sexed semen to improve the quality of milch cattle and end stray cattle menace in state and proposed tie-ups with world-class companies for technology transfer for the same. Before him, the Haryana government had mooted a similar proposal. “Sexed semen technology would help dairy farmers ensure production of only female calves and would eventually put an end to the practice of abandoning male buffaloes, which is posing a major threat to human life in the form of the stray cattle menace,” Amarinder said in an official release.
He was in Ludhiana to review the works at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). He also held meetings with the vice-chancellors of the two universities. Amarinder also asked the animal husbandry department to collaborate with the National Dairy Research Institute, as well as world-renowned veterinary institutions and companies, to bring improvements in embryo transfer technology (ETT) to ensure production of quality livestock.
State animal husbandry minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that his department was already working on exploring the possibility of making sexed semen available to farmers through leading US-based company ‘Sexing Technologies’. Amarinder suggested that the fisheries department, in collaboration with GADVASU, should work out a plan to encourage fish farmers in southern Punjab to go for shrimp and pangas farming. He asked the fisheries department to procure good quality shrimp seed from Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry as the water in the southern belt was brackish and conducive for this variety.
Chairman, Punjab State Farmers Commission, Ajay Vir Jakhar suggested that Punjab should be developed as a potato seed hub. PAU V-C Dr. BS Dhillon informed that the university had already taken up the matter with the Government of India for getting Geographical Indication (GI) for potato seeds in Doaba region. The CM said that an appropriate legislation should be brought to regulate the quality of certified seeds of potato and other vegetable crops.
Conceding a proposal put forth by commissioner agriculture to allow electricity to the livestock sector on rates at par with the agriculture sector, the CM asked Punjab State Power Corporation to examine the issue and come out with financial implications in this regard. Advisor, Animal Husbandry, Dr VK Taneja suggested establishment of state-of-the-art rendering plants across Punjab for organized disposal of carcass.
On a proposal of the agriculture commissioner to bring MILKFED under the administrative control of Animal Husbandry instead of Cooperation Department, the CM asked his principal secretary to get it thoroughly examined before taking a final decision. After Dhillon informed CM that the water table was depleting at a rate of more than 50 cms annually, Amarinder asked the PAU to focus on developing short duration varieties of paddy, water saving technologies for crop production and equally remunerative alternatives to water guzzling paddy crop.
The CM assured the V-Cs that paucity of funds would not be allowed to hinder research and development initiatives. Earlier, the CM also inaugurated ‘multi-specialty veterinary referral hospital’ at GADVASU. Built at a cost of Rs14.50 crore, the hospital will provide world-class medical and surgical care to small animals including dogs, cats among others.