Kerala Livestock Development Board
The Board has experimental breeding farms, training centre etc. The breeding programme was first launched at Mattuppetti under the aegis of Indo Swiss project. Frozen Semen technology was first introduced by the Indo Swiss project in 1965. The Board was the first agency to introduce a sire evaluation programme for crossbred bulls under field conditions in 1977. A computerized data processing system to monitor the programme was established in 1983.
The Board is undertaking Fodder Development in the State as one of their prime duties. High yielding varieties of fodder for different agro climatic conditions are selected and developed. The Training Centre is imparting training in various disciplines like frozen semen technology, fertility problems in female bovines, progeny testing under field conditions etc. A strong R & D team supports the programmes taken up by the Board. Embryo transfer Technology is fine tuned by the Research Team and the Board is now capable to supply embryos for field embryo transfer programme. Of late, the Board also started a pig breeding centre also.
Mattuppetti is one of the most important centres of animal production and research in India. Started by the Indo Swiss Project Kerala in 1963, this farm has an area of 191 ha. Of this 113 ha. is developed into grazing lands for cattle. Mattuppetti is located at 1700 M above sea level near Munnar and is regarded as one of the most coveted spot of tourist attraction. Around 350 heads of cattle (65 bulls, 80 cows and 195 growing stock) are maintained by the farm. Around 800000 doses of frozen semen are produced annually.
The unit is controlled by Manager (AH) under whom the three sections as Animal Husbandry, Fodder and Semen Bank function. Altogether 9 officers, 23 staff and 143 permanent workers are employed here. The training centre organises practice oriented courses for veterinarians, para veterinarians and technicians in the field of animal production.
This unit was started in 1967 with its head quarters at Kolahalamed, 1100 M above sea level. It was originally intended to be a base station for the animal husbandry extension activities, this centre was later redesigned as a bull mother farm producing around 35 cross bred male calves annually. Later in 1993-94, this farm was converted into a buffalo semen production station. Around 150000 doses of frozen semen (buffalo) are produced annually. The farm has an area of 282 ha. The farm is controlled by a Deputy Manager (AH).
This unit was established in 1974 for the production of frozen semen, with a capacity to keep 75 bulls. The station is situated in Kollam District. It also houses the Regional semen Bank also distributing frozen semen to the southern districts. The capacity of the farm was later enhanced to stall 105 animals and 800000 doses of frozen semen are produced annually. A goat unit was also started in 1990 but was later shifted to Dhoni.
Started by Dairy Development Department in 1972 as a bull station to keep pure Jersey bulls for production of Coconut Milk Extended semen (CME) to supply to the Cattle Improvement Assistants, this farm was later transferred to the Board in 1976. Frozen Semen production was started and this farm was converted into a bull mother farm. This farm was identified as a centre to coordinate the fodder production, quality control, packing and distribution. This farm has also become the second centre of training of the KLD Board.
The Goat project sanctioned to the Board for the development of Malabari goats by the Government of India is located at Dhoni. It was started in 1992-93. Around 800000 doses of frozen semen are produced at this centre. A new Regional Semen Bank was also started here in 1991-92. For organizing the frozen semen sale in bulk quantities to agencies outside Kerala a sale counter was also opened in Dhoni in 1989-90.
This farm is of late start and is expected to be a pig breeding centre of international standards. The farm has an area of 39.7 ha. Around Rs.7 crores have been spent to start this farm. It has a capacity to maintain 2800 pigs and the Board has used the technical know how from Philippines. It has also imported around 90 piglets of three breeds from England with help of Swiss Government. It is expected to produce 10000 piglets every year by way of artificial insemination.
Regional Semen Banks
Regional semen Banks are at Kulathupuzha, Mavelikkara, Muvattupuzha, Chalakkudy, Dhoni, Puthuppady and Kannur catering to different AI centres of the State.
The Training Centre at Mattuppetty imparts training to technical personnel in the field of cattle breeding, frozen semen technology, AI techniques, fertility problems in female cattle, embryo transfer technology, fodder production etc.
Cattle Breeding and Progeny testing co-ordination centre, Muvattupuzha
All the cattle breeding research programmes are monitored from this station. The data on productive and reproductive parameters of the farm stock As well as the animals owned by the farmers in selected areas are compiled and analysed. Sire evaluation programme to select the best breeding bulls from each batch of breeding bulls is also on operation.
Seed Production units, Thodupuzha and Palakkad
Fodder seed production is carried out through these units. Around 10000 farmers of Idukki and Palakkad are involved in this programme. Around 50 MT of fodder seeds are collected annually.