JK BovaGenix, an initiative of the JK Trust, a leading NGO working in the field of animal husbandry steered by Gautam Hari Singhania, CMD, Raymond Limited, has successfully established nine in-vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancies in Buffaloes at the doorstep of farmers for the first time in India. All eyes are now on the farm near Pune, Maharashtra where the first IVF buffalo calves are expected to be born in August 2020. This is a pioneering milestone in the field of animal husbandry using advanced reproductive technology to create IVF buffalo calves at the doorstep of farmers and will help to revolutionise the production of genetically superior indigenous buffaloes with a multi-fold increase in milk output.
Led by Dr. Shyam Zawar, CEO – JK Trust and Chief Scientist – JK BovaGenix, the scientific team behind this achievement includes Dr. Vinod Patil, Dr. Amol Sahare, Dr. Kailas Kadam and Mr. Ramakant Sahu. Dr. Shyam Zawar, who earlier led the scientific breakthrough with successful IVF pregnancies in cows, said, “After successfully establishing a record 56 IVF pregnancies from a Gir Donor cow ‘Gauri’ in a span of 6 months earlier this year, we are happy to announce that IVF and ET (Embryo transfer) technology will now be used to produce genetically superior buffaloes with enhancement of milk yield. This success will boost our mission to significantly improve the quality of life in India’s rural areas. This initiative will benefit millions of families residing in remote and tribal villages of the country through the production of genetically superior buffalo breed at a rapid pace, allowing them to supplement their income.”
This is the first time in the country that IVF pregnancies in buffaloes have been established at farmers’ doorsteps. The pioneering work has been undertaken in a Buffalo Farm near Pune with around 1500 animals owned by the Sonawane brothers. The calves are expected to be born during August 2020.
Before this, JK BovaGenix established 56 IVF pregnancies from a Gir Donor cow ‘GAURI’ in a span of 6 months from April 2019 to Sept 2019. Out of the 56 IVF pregnancies, 38 were at the JK Trust’s Farm and rest were at farmers’ doorstep spread across the states of Maharashtra and Kerala.
In 2017, JK Trust grabbed the attention of the whole dairy industry including dairy farmers and the scientific fraternity with the birth of India’s first IVF male calf, named as ‘Krishna’, from Frozen IVF Embryo. This was just a year after it set up a high tech ET-IVF laboratory for cattle as well as four Mobile Cattle ET-IVF Laboratories in 2016. In the year 2018, 14 IVF calves were produced from a cow named ‘Radha’ by implanting her embryos in 14 surrogate mothers (recipients). This was a major breakthrough in dairy animal reproduction, as a cow normally produces a maximum of only 10-12 calves in her entire lifespan. This paved the way for the rapid multiplication of superior cattle at a much faster pace.
Riding on the waves of success, JK BovaGenix is taking forward the Government’s Rashtriya Gokul Mission to conserve the depleting indigenous breeds. To date, JK BovaGenix has successfully produced 3,279 IVF Embryos and established 308 IVF Pregnancies. Further, 132 IVF calves are born.