It's a move that could revolutionise dairy farming in the state and add another, hitherto unexplored dimension, to Indo-Pak trade ties. The state government has sent a special team to Pakistan to import semen of the rare breed of Neeli-Ravvi buffaloes.
The team from the state animal husbandry department is already in Lahore to finalise the deal.
Gulzar Singh Ranike, animal husbandry minister, said that the move is meant to improve the indigenous breeds. "We have decided to import semen of Neeli-Raavi buffaloes from Pakistan to upgrade our breeds. The buffaloes in the state give only six to eight litre of milk, whereas the Pakistani breed gives an average of 25-litres of milk. The scientists in the department suggested the importance of this import," said Ranike.
The Punjab government has already forwarded a proposal to the ministry of external affairs to remove the obstacles in importing buffaloes from Pakistan.
The government proposes to import buffaloes from the cities of Kasoor and Lahore.
Neeli Bar, a geographical region in Punjab, Pakistan, is famous for its cow and buffalo breeds. These breeds exist in Punjab and Haryana as well, but the quality of milk of these rare breeds has been affected due to their mating with the breeds lacking quality semen.
Incidentally, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had recently expressed his desire to import Sahiwal and Neeli-Raavi breeds from Pakistan. Punjab is already working to upgrade the breed of nearly 2.5-lakh cattle heads and has imported nearly 50-thousand sexed semen for cows.
A pilot project of USA's patented technology of sexed semen has already shown encouraging results in Haryana.
"The state has witnessed a steep fall in the population of buffaloes leading to lower production of milk. We have to resort to artificial means of increasing milk yield. It will also help us improve the existing livestock both qualitatively and quantitatively," said an expert.