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Amarinder stresses on use of sexed semen technology in dairy sector

(Eds: Recasts last para) Ludhiana, Jan 15 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Tuesday stressed on the use of sexed semen technology to improve the quality of milch cattle, especially buffaloes and cows, in the state and called for tie-ups with world-class companies for technology transfer for the same. The chief minister was reviewing the progress of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here, according to an official release. 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 tohuman life in the form of the stray cattle menace, he said. Animal Husbandry Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu told the chief minister the department was making concerted efforts to explore the possibility of making sexed semen technology available to the farmers through the US-based company, 'Sexing Technologies'. 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. ETT could help in speeding up breed improvement, which would fetch better prices to the dairy farmers through higher milk yield, he added. Livestock has a huge potential to double farmers' income through improved efficiency of production, quality, food safety and economics, he said. Amarinder also said 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 in a big way as it fetches more remunerative prices than the traditional varieties of carp. 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. The chief minister also directed Punjab State Power Corporation to examine a proposal put forth by agriculture commissioner to provide electricity to the livestock sector on rates at par with the agriculture sector.PTI CHS RVK MR