Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

To help the dairy industry, Seoul gives Holstein bulls and heifers

The breed's milk production exceeds 30 litres per day, which is more than three times what Nepal's upgraded variety of cows now produce.

According to officials, South Korea has given Nepal 101 Holstein heifers and 20 breeding bulls with high genetic value to help modernize the dairy industry by establishing a high-quality nucleus herd.

The donation is a component of the “Milky Way” project, a partnership between Nepal and South Korea to improve the genetics of cattle in an effort to modernize the dairy industry in Nepal.

In the international market, the bulls are priced at $200,000 per head, while the heifers are $3,000 each. The cost of moving the cattle is anticipated to be $500,000. By December’s end, the shipment will have arrived.

The heifers are anticipated to give birth to their first calf and begin giving milk in the following 18 months, according to Heifer International Nepal, a global development organization with a purpose to eradicate hunger and poverty in a sustainable manner.

The breed’s milk output is more than 30 litres per day, which is more than three times what Nepal’s upgraded variety of cows now produce.

The heifers will be distributed to 50 farmers in Sindhuli’s Kamalamai Municipality in order to create a model dairy village and bolster the dairy industry’s supply and value chains.

A report from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) states that Sindhuli has a lot of potential as a business or pocket location for dairy production.

These cows can adapt to a larger range of climates because South Korea’s temperature ranges from -10 to 40 degrees Celsius.

On December 22, an Asiana Airlines cargo aircraft from Seoul, the capital of South Korea, will deliver the first shipment of 41 heifers and eight bulls to Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport. It takes about six hours to travel.

The heifers will travel with tons of grain, as well as a few technicians and veterinarians, according to representatives of Heifer International Nepal.

According to Heifer authorities, the remaining heifers will be transported on Korean Air’s cargo trip in three separate consignments by the end of December.

The animals will be quarantined at the Nepal Agricultural Research Council office in Khumaltar for three to four days. They will be sent to Sindhuli and given to farmers there after the quarantine period is over, Heifer International Nepal’s Shubh Narayan Mahato told the Post.

According to him, the high-genetic breeding bulls will be kept at various National Livestock Breeding facilities in Pokhara, Lahan, and other locations, which will help address the current shortage of high-caliber bulls for semen distribution and collection.

Heifer International representatives stated that they are in discussions to purchase haylage with Chinese businesses. A few Chinese businesses have made investments in grass-producing projects in Chitwan. Chopped and packaged haylage or grass can be used all year round to feed cattle.

The main obstacles to the transformation of Nepal’s dairy industry, according to officials, are a lack of bulls for high-quality semen and a lack of a systematic and sustainable genetic improvement program. Currently, Nepal’s dairy animals produce little milk. The animals don’t produce much.

Around nine liters of milk are produced daily by cross-bred cows in Nepal. The government’s effort for improving breeds lacks a comprehensive strategy and genetic resources.

Over the past few decades, Nepal’s efforts to import high-quality animal breeds have been unsuccessful due to foreign countries’ restrictive export laws governing genetic resources.

Nepal asked the Indian government in 2010 for a special route to allow the entry of cows from India. Ramdev, the creator of Patanjali Yogpeeth, donated the high-breed cows. However, Indian law forbade the import of cows.

As part of its three-year plan to become self-sufficient in milk production, Gandaki province asked the federal government to facilitate the import of nearly 10,000 cows from China in 2018. However, the expensive and drawn-out process caused the initiative to collapse.

According to Chandra Dhakal, senior livestock development official at the Department of Livestock Services, importing cattle is undoubtedly quite challenging. “It is primarily because of the expense element and the complicated international legislation,” he stated.

For instance, we have been trying to import premium bull breeds for a while, but none of the vendors are interested. They didn’t even include a price quote.

Dhakal claims that importing cattle is very expensive because it requires charter flights. “Animal importation is governed by complicated international law.”

Another issue is that imported cattle have a high mortality rate since it takes them a long time to get used to their new surroundings.

Importing animals is challenging for a number of reasons, according to Dhakal. For breeding development, the department bought two Holstein and five Jersey bulls from Chicago in the US in February.

Dhakal praised Heifer International’s initiative in bringing the heifers. To improve the production and value chain of the dairy industry, Heifer International wants to create a model dairy village. The donation of cows and bulls to Nepal by Heifer International is not new.

In the 1950s, when Nepal asked for assistance with the growth of its cattle, an organization with its headquarters in Arkansas, United States, launched the first government import for the public sector dairy promotion. The imported animals were housed in Singha Durbar, where they served as the foundation for the growth of the dairy sector with better breeds.

South Korea was also given the cows by Heifer International. South Korea’s daily productivity per cow in the 1970s was only about nine kg. With a methodical dairy genetic improvement, it reached 32 kg in 50 years after Heifer’s initiative.

According to Mahato, the former director of the Department of Livestock Services, South Korea is currently third in the world for productivity per animal as a result of good management.

Since Nepal is currently where South Korea was fifty years ago, it may benefit from this experience to modernize the nation’s dairy business, according to Mahato. But the government cannot support the sector’s growth on its own. The private sector must join the effort.

From time to time, Nepal has imported or received improved breeds of cattle. The first known import of cattle occurred in 1917 under the leadership of Nepal’s prime minister at the time, Junga Bahadur Rana, who brought special breeds of cows from England.

Since then, there have been numerous attempts to use selective breeding to advance exotic breeds, but the method has not proven to be as effective as anticipated.

According to a study from 2020, the average Nepali drinks only 72 liters of milk and dairy products per year, despite the fact that 91 liters is the required amount.

The Department of Livestock Services predicts that the milk shortage will likely get worse since the demand for dairy products, which is expanding at an average rate of 8% each year, is outpacing the dairy industry’s four percent yearly growth.

Due to poor genetic potential, inadequate feeding, and an inadequate healthcare system, overall milk production is relatively low.

Nepal produced 2.47 million tonnes of milk during the 2020–21 fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development.

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