As many as 8.62 lakh frozen semen of cattle and buffaloes were sold through government's 'e-pashu haat' portal within hours of its launch today by Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
Over 13,000 viewers including those from the US, the UK, Singapore, Russia and Canada visited the new website 'www.Epashuhaat.Gov.In', the first of its kind platform in India that facilitates trade of live cows/buffaloes, frozen semen and embryos.
E-transactions and home delivery facility is also available for the farmers on the portal.
As many as 5,481 live cattles/buffaloes, 1.65 crore stock of frozen semen and 354 embryos -- all registered and certified by the government agencies -- are available for trade on the website. The website is in English and will be made available in all regional languages soon.
"Farmers want to buy good animal breed but there is no authentic organised market in some places where they can get quality, disease-free and high genetic merit germplasm. The new e-market will address these concerns," Singh said.
He was speaking after the launch of the e-portal on the occasion of 'National Milk Day' celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Vergesh Kurien, the father of India's white revolution.
The portal will lead to propagation of high genetic merit germplasm, which is need of the hour because at present milk productivity is very low despite India being the world's top milk producing country at 155.49 million tonnes, he said.
Since dairying activity is a major supplementary source of income for farmers, the Minister said increasing the share of income from animal rearing has become imperative for achieving the goal of doubling farmers income by 2022.
He also called upon both cooperatives and private milk producers to have separate processing plants for cow and buffalo milk and also explore launching more value-added products, which will help farmers to fetch good returns.
Further talking about the online livestock market, the Minister said that such a portal is not available even in the developed dairy nations.
The portal has real-time authentic certified information on availability of germplasm, establishes links between 'farmer to farmer' and 'farmer to institutes' and minimises the involvement of middlemen.
India has the largest bovine population in the world. There are 144 million cattles and 105 million buffaloes. About 79 per cent are of indigenous breeds while the rest 21 per cent are exotic and crossbreed varieties.
But most of the indigenous breeds have low genetic potential for milk production and the government's scheme Rashtriya Gokul Mission' launched in December 2014 is aimed at addressing this issue.