Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III- Science & Technology
- The Union Minister for animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries said that government plans to provide dairy farmers with ‘sexed semen’ for cattle for as cheap as Rs 100 per straw by 2020.
- The reproduction system of cattle is similar to humans. Cows carry XX chromosomes while bull semen carries both X and Y.
- Sexed semen is specially processed semen of bulls from which ‘Y’ chromosomes in sperm cells — which lead to the birth of a male calf — are either removed through a ‘sorting’ process or killed.
- Semen which has only ‘X’ chromosomes can ensure that a female calf is born.
- Sexed semen can help solve the stray cattle problem in country as male calves(and cows which has stopped giving mil) are abandoned on the roads by farmers as they do not give milk.
- The guarantee of a female calf being born is never 100 per cent. It can be up to 90 per cent
- High quality conventional semen straws are available for just around Rs 20-40 per straw only whereas sexed semen costs at least Rs 1,200 per straw without subsidy.