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Israelis Plan Surrogate Cow Farm To Help Boost India's Milk Output

Published on Oct 26 2017 9:20 AM in Supply Chain tagged: Dairy / India / Milk / Cows

Israelis Plan Surrogate Cow Farm To Help Boost India's Milk Output

An Israeli company is starting a surrogate cow farm near Mumbai to help meet growing demand for milk from India’s surging middle class.

The farm will house 40 Holstein cows that serve as egg donors and some 450 surrogates that will carry the embryos - impregnated with bovine sperm from the US, Europe and, possibly, Israel - to term.

Calves born at the farm will be sold to Indian farmers when they’re six months pregnant, AlefBet Planners said in an emailed statement.

Milk Production

India’s milk production continues to fall short of demand, which is rising with growing incomes and urbanisation, according to a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service report.

India’s dairy industry is considered a low-output system, made up primarily of small farmers with fewer than five cows or water buffalos, the report said. Low genetic potential is one of the key factors affecting cows’ productivity.

Maxximilk, an Israeli company that’s collaborating on the Mumbai-area farm with AlefBet and India’s Godrej Group, specialises in in-vitro fertilisation of cows. The process can enable dairy farmers to bypass decades-long breeding programmes and grow herds of champion milk-producing cows within 32 months, the company says on its website.

The project is unique and complicated “because of the need to combine advanced technology with the principles of the Hindu faith,” which regards cows as holy, the statement said.

News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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