Rashtriya Gokul Mission

Enhancing the productivity of the indigenous breeds of India through scientific management

Potential to enhance the productivity of the indigenous breeds of India through professional farm management and superior nutrition is immense. For this it is essential to promote conservation and development of indigenous breeds.

The “Rashtriya Gokul Mission” aims to conserve and develop indigenous breeds in a focused and scientific manner
It is a focussed project under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development, with an outlay of Rs 500 crore during the 12th Five Year Plan


Importance & need for conservation of indigenous breeds:

  • During 2012-2013, about 45 million cattle were ‘in milk’ and contributed around 59 million tonnes of milk
  • Cattle not only contribute substantially to milk production but are also used as draught animals, for agricultural operations and transport in rural areas
  • Most of the agricultural operations by small farmers are performed by bullocks
  • They also provide cow dung (organic manure), cow urine (medicinal value)
    Indigenous cattle are categorized as Zebu and are suited for draught power because of the presence of a hump
  • Indigenous cattle are well known for their quality of heat tolerance and ability to withstand extreme climatic conditions
  • Studies indicate that temperature rise due to global warming will negatively impact milk production
  • The annual loss in milk production of cattle and buffaloes due to thermal stress in 2020 will be about 3.2 million tonnes of milk costing more than Rs 5000 Crore at current price rate
  • The decline in milk production and reproductive efficiency will be highest in crossbred cattle followed by buffaloes. Indigenous Breeds will be least affected by climate change as they are more hardy and robust
  • Some of the indigenous breeds have enormous potential to become high yielding commercial milch animals under optimal farm management
  • The pre-requisites for the development of a breed are- a) the presence of a minimum base population and b) a wide selection differential for economic traits
  • The indigenous dairy breeds with potential for development as commercially viable milch cattle in a shorter time frame are- Sahiwal in Punjab; Rathi and Tharparkar in Rajasthan; and Gir and Kankrej in Gujarat
  • If these breeds are selectively crossed with bulls selected through sibling and progeny testing, the offsprings would be commercially viable. In this manner the entire population of the breed can be upgraded in a few generations


  • To undertake breed improvement program for indigenous cattle breeds so as to improve genetic makeup and increase the stock
  • To enhance milk production and productivity of indigenous bovines
  • To upgrade nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi <What is a non-descript cattle? Answer in comments>
  • To distribute disease free high genetic merit bulls of indigenous breeds for natural service


  • State Implementing Agency (SIA)- Livestock Development Boards (LDB)
    State Gauseva Ayogs- Mandated to sponsor proposals to the SIAs and monitor implementation of the sponsored proposal
  • Participating Agencies- All Agencies having a role in indigenous cattle development. Ex- ICAR, universities, Colleges, NGOs and Gaushalas with best germplasm


  • Establishment of village level Integrated Indigenous Cattle Centres viz Gokul Gram
  • Strengthening of bull mother farms to conserve high genetic merit Indigenous Breeds
  • Establishment of Field Performance Recording (FPR) in the breeding tract.
    Assistance to Institutions/lnstitutes which are repositories of best germplasm
  • Implementation of Pedigree Selection Programme for the Indigenous Breeds with large population
  • Establishing Gopalan Sangh- Breeder’s Societies
  • Distribution of disease free high genetic merit bulls for natural service.
    Incentive to farmers maintaining elite animals of indigenous breeds
  • Heifer rearing programme
  • Award to Farmers (Gopal Ratna) and Breeders” Societies (Kamadhenu)
    Organization of Milk Yield Competitions for indigenous breeds
  • Organization of Training Programme for technical and non technical

Gokul Gram:

  • These are Indigenous Cattle Centres and will act as Centres for development of Indigenous Breeds
  • They’ll be established- a) in native breeding tracts and b) near metropolitan cities for housing the urban cattle
  • A dependable source for supply of high genetic breeding stock to the farmers in the breeding tract
  • Self sustaining and will generate economic resources from sale of milk, organic manure, vermi-composting, urine distillates, and production of electricity from bio gas for in house consumption and sale of animal products
  • Also function as state of the art in situ training centre for Farmers, Breeders

Published with inputs from Swapnil

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