Pune: In a first, company offers IVF treatment of buffaloes to farmers – The Indian Express

JK BovaGenix said it had successfully carried out IVF pregnancies in nine animals in Pune.

After successfully testing in vitro fertilization (IVF) in cattle, JK BovaGenix an intiative of JK Trust has now extended this service to buffaloes.

Dr Shyam Zawar, CEO of JK Trust and Chief Scientist of JK BovaGenix, told the media in Pune on Thursday that they have successfully carried out IVF pregnancies in nine animals in Pune, and the animals are expected to give birth in August 2020.

IVF is a reproductive technique wherein matured eggs are harvested from a female and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory. The fertilised egg(zygote) is planted in the body of the female animal after 6-7 days, when cell division starts. The embryo develops normally after its gestation period.

IVF is mostly used in bovine animals to plant an embryo of superior genetics into a surrogate mother. After the normal gestation period of nine months, the calves which are reared have the traits of the original mother and father. Normally, in such cases, the egg is harvested from an animal with proven milk-yielding capacity and crossed with the sperm of a male whose mother also has well-documented genetics. Once fertilised, the zygote is planted in the womb of a surrogate mother whose qualities the calf does not inherit.

The trust, which has been involved in animal husbandry since 1997, is a known name in the field of artificial insemination and other reproductive techniques. Zawar had earlier successfully carried out IVF in Gir animals using imported sperm. The trust has also carried out IVF procedures using eggs harvested from Gauri, a genetically superior animal kept in its Daund gaushala. As many as 56 implants have been carried out using eggs from the animal.

Speaking about the trusts newest service, Zawar said this was the first time such a technique had been used on buffaloes. The pioneering work has been undertaken in a buffalo farm near Pune with around 1,500 animals owned by the Sonawane brothers. The calves are expected to be born during August 2020, he said.

The animals are from the elite Murrah breed from Haryana, which is known for higher milk yield and better resilence. The implants were carried out at the farmers doorstep.

Zawar said the technique could help improve milk yields in Indian buffaloes. Zawar also said only pregnancies resulting in male progeny would be possible, which would help in the extraction of superior quality sperm for better second generations. The technique, which costs about Rs 30,000 per implant, has seen demand mostly from progressive farmers, said Zawar.

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Pune: In a first, company offers IVF treatment of buffaloes to farmers - The Indian Express

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