Steps are being taken to make Ladakh India’s first region of Animal Genetic Resources Without Description (AnGR).
Director, National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR), Indian Institute of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Karnal, Dr. BP Mishra, and Principal Secretary, Animal Biotechnology, ICAR-NBAGR, Dr. Manishi Mukesh called the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur, and appreciated the progress in this direction.
Dr. Mishra presented their work on the identification, characterization, recording, documentation, monitoring and conservation of animal genetic resources. He briefed on India’s Zero Non-Descript AnGR mission which emphasizes the importance of characterizing and recording the country’s non-descript population as well as their conservation and enhancement.
Dr. Mishra informed about their plan to make Ladakh India’s first Zero Non-Descript AnGR region. He also informed about the ongoing process to identify and characterize new and non-descript populations of Ladakh such as Chang-khi (wild dogs found in Changthang area), yak and donkey. He informed that the indigenous cattle of Ladakh called ‘Ladakhi cattle’ were recognized as the 42nd cattle breed of India.
Dr. Mishra informed that Ladakhi cattle are a natural source of A2 milk. He informed about the presence of hypoxia-inducing factor-1 (HIF-1) and its regulatory genes in Ladakhi cattle that produce homeostatic responses to hypoxia at higher altitudes of the Trans-Himalayan region.
LG Mathur suggested that milk from Ladakhi cattle and yak can be promoted to tourists as the milk is fortified with antioxidant and hypoxic properties to promote high altitude regions of Ladakh. He said it would also allow locals to earn more money for their livelihoods.
He also suggested that the ICAR-NBAGR could examine the dzo/dzomo race for its identification and characterization.
LG Mathur highlighted the business benefits of identifying, registering and characterizing Chang-khi and Ladakhi cattle as a new and indescribable population of Ladakh, especially among aspiring entrepreneurs, through the added value .
He said a breeding program could be conducted for Chang-khi once they are recognized as an indigenous Ladakh breed.