Types of Genetic Resources

Genetic improvement of dairy animals depends on the type of genetic resources available in the country. The types of bovine genetic resources varies in different agro-climatic regions and even within the particular region of the country. The global cattle and buffalo population indicate that there are 861 and 74 recognized cattle and buffalo breeds in the world and out of that India has 30 recognized cattle breeds and fifteen breeds of Indian buffaloes. Among fifteen breeds of buffalo, eight breeds have a sizeable breedable population and are recognized.

In India most of the indigenous cattle breeds have been developed from Bos indicus origin. The cattle breeds are different morphologically with different types of horns, long drooping ears, prominent dewlaps and hump over the withers but the animals are suitable to variable climatic conditions because of different sweat glands and are more tolerant to enzootic diseases. Like cattle, the buffalo breeds are also different morphologically though the average productivity of different breeds is low. In spite of that the country possesses some best breeds of cattle and buffaloes in the world. The rural household have different types of genetic resources such as indigenous pure breed of cattle, pure breed of buffalo, non-descript cattle, graded buffaloes, different types of crossbred animals and various combinations of the above types of animal. The herd size in India is predominantly very small whether in organized or rural areas.