The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying has been implementing the Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) to develop and conserve indigenous bovine breeds since December 2014. The RGM scheme plays an essential role in enhancing milk production and productivity of bovines to meet the growing demands for milk and make dairy more remunerative to the rural farmers in India.
The revised RGM scheme is continued under the umbrella scheme of the Rashtriya Pashudhan Vikas Yojna from 2021 to 2026 with an Rs.2,400 crore budget outlay. The RGM scheme will result in enhanced productivity of all cattle and buffaloes of India, especially amongst small and marginal farmers. It will also benefit women since they undertake over 70% of the work involved in livestock farming. The revised RMG scheme will be implemented across the country from 2021-2022 to 2025-26.
Objectives of RGM
- To enhance bovines’ productivity and sustainably increase milk production using advanced technologies.
- To propagate the use of high genetic merit bulls for breeding purposes.
- To enhance artificial insemination coverage by strengthening the breeding network and delivering artificial insemination services at farmers’ doorstep.
- To promote indigenous buffalo and cattle conservation and rearing in a scientific and holistic manner.
Components of RGM
The components of the revised RGM scheme to be implemented from 2021 to 2026 are as follows:
- Availability of high genetic merit germplasm, which includes:
- Bull production programme, comprising progeny testing, pedigree selection, genomic selection and import of germplasm.
- Support to semen stations and strengthening of existing semen stations.
- Implementing In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technology, consisting of IVF laboratories, In-Vitro Embryo production technology and IVF technology for getting assured pregnancy.
- Breed multiplication farms.
- Extension of artificial insemination network, which includes:
- Establishment of MAITRIs.
- Nationwide AI programme.
- Using sex-sorted semen for getting assured pregnancy.
- Implementation of the National Digital Livestock Mission.
- Development and conservation of indigenous breeds, which includes:
- Assistance to Gosadans, Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles.
- Administrative expenditure or operation of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog.
- Skill development.
- Farmers awareness.
- Research, development and innovation in bovine breeding.
Initiatives Under RGM
Under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission, the government undertook many initiatives to conserve and develop the indigenous bovine breeds. The initiatives undertaken during the implementation of this scheme are as follows:
- Establishing many cattle development centres for developing indigenous breeds known as Gokul Grams.
- Giving different awards to the farmers for encouraging them to rear the indigenous breeds, such as:
- Gopal Ratna award given to the farmers for maintenance and best management of the indigenous breed.
- Kamdhenu award given for best managed indigenous herd by trusts, NGOs, institutions, Gaushalas or Breeders’ societies.
- Establishing the National Kamdhenu Breeding Centre (NKBC) as a centre of excellence for the conservation and development of indigenous breeds scientifically.
- Developing an e-market portal, i.e. Epashuhaat, for connecting the framers and breeders.
- Establishing an animal wellness program, i.e. Pashu Sanjivani, that encompasses the provision of animal health cards (Nakul Swasthya Patra) with UID identification and uploading data on the National database.
- Using advanced reproductive technology to improve the availability of a disease-free female bovine, which includes IVF, Multiple Ovulation Embryo Transfer (MOET) and sex-sorted semen technique.
- Establishing the National Bovine Genomic Centre for Indigenous Breeds (NBGC-IB) to select young breeding bulls having high genetic merit using precise gene-based technology.
The government also inaugurated the following under the RGM scheme:
- IVF lab established at Animal Sciences University, Patna.
- Semen station with state-of-the-art facilities in Purnea, Bihar.
- Sex sorted semen in artificial insemination by Baroni Milk Union in Begusarai district of Bihar.
Implementing Agencies Under RGM
The State Implementing Agency (SIA) under the revised Rashtriya Gokul Mission are as follows:
- Livestock development boards.
- State milk federations.
The Participating Agency (PA) under the revised Rashtriya Gokul Mission are as follows:
- Cattle breeding farms.
- Central universities.
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and its institutes.
- Other agencies that have a role in bovine development, such as state universities, colleges, etc.
Implementation of RGM
The projects undertaken under the RGM scheme benefits the rural cattle and buffalo keepers irrespective of caste, class and gender. The PAs undertake projects in any of the components of the RGM scheme and implement them to achieve this scheme’s objectives. The PAs will submit project proposals to the SIAs for obtaining funding assistance under the scheme to complete the projects.
The respective state governments must send the project proposals, duly assessed by the SIAs, to the Government of India. The Project Sanctioning Committee (PSC) at the central level will appraise and approve the projects submitted by the SIAs. The funds will be released directly to the SIAs to implement the approved projects. The SIAs will transfer funds to the zero balance account maintained by PAs. The SIAs will monitor the implementation of the project every month.
Funding Under RGM
All the components of the RGM scheme are implemented on a 100% grant-in-aid basis except the following components:
- The accelerated breed improvement programme under the component subsidy of Rs.5,000 per IVF pregnancy will be available to participating farmers as a share of the Government of India.
- For promoting sex-sorted semen under the component subsidy, up to 50% of the cost of sex-sorted semen will be available to participating farmers.
- For establishing a breed multiplication farm under the component subsidy, up to 50% of the capital cost maximum of up to Rs.2 crore of the project will be made available to the entrepreneur.
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