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Exotic goat breeds in India, cross breeding results and goat breeding policies in India

The first well recognized initiative on goat breeding was taken in IV- five year plan in 1971 when All India Coordinated Research Project on Goats was launched by Government of India.

Initially it was started for evolving 2 characters;

1) Milk Production &
2) Fibre (Pashmina & Mohair)

Later, realizing the importance of goat meat the 3rd component “Goat for Meat” was added in the V – five year plan Basic theme: was to improve the production performance of Indian breeds of goats through cross breeding with exotic breeds of temperate countries.

1st AICRP – for improving milk production begins at 3 centres

  • NDRI (Karnal) – Beetle Goat was crossed with Alpine & Saanen
  • KAU (Malabari) – Malabari Gaot was crossed with Alpine & Saanen
  • MPKVV (Rahuri) – Black Bengal was crossed with Alpine & Saanen


Beetal   Alpine


Beetal   Saanen

Beetal was considered as good milch breed with average milk yield of 156.7Kg in a lactation period of 186 days.
While Alpine and Saanen under Indian Conditions give 308kg and 286kg respectively.
The average yield of these 2 breeds in USA was 1850kg and 1900kg respectively.
The experimental results show that crossbreeding had brought about a substantial improvement over the native breeds i.e. Beetal & Malabari.

Above graph shows that best production was achieved in Saanen & Beetal Cross. Above graph shows that best production was achieved in Saanen & Malabari Cross.

Further analysis of these crosses will deal in other articles of this portal.
In the next five year plan i.e. in V five year plan Meat goats improvement was also included in AICRP on goats.

The coordinating unit of AICRP on goats remained at CSWRI Avikanagar upto 1976 and later on shifted at National Government Research Centre (IVRI), Makhdoom, Mathura (UP).

With the experience gained and information generated during IV, V and subsequent plans, it was considered necessary to improve the native goat breeds, which are well adapted to the local environment and managemental systems in their natural habitat.

The AICRP on goats was transformed in 1990 into network project in VIII Plan with its mandate to define, characterize and improve the productivity of native goat breeds incorporating farmers flock in the home tract through selective breeding based on progeny performance.

The present scheme on Goat Improvement was, therefore, conceived and initiated during IX Five year plan with the main emphasis on improvement of goats involving farmer’s flock in the home tract of different goat’s breeds and selection within the breed.

Creation of Nucleus Breeding Herd was the main principle to systemize the goat breeding in India. These herds maintain as well as improve the elite breeding goats and become the centre of animals with genetic merit.

This program had 2 parts

  1. Farm based units (Institutional Flocks maintained under organized farm conditions)
  2. Field based units (Farmer’s flock owned by farmers under village management system)

The farm units consisting of Institutional flocks maintained under organized farm conditions include Jamunapari, Barbari and Sirohi breeds.

Field units are based on the flocks owned by the farmers maintained under village management system in the native home tracts and include

  1. Jamunapari,
  2. Marwari,
  3. Sirohi,
  4. Sangamneri,
  5. Surti,
  6. Black Bengal,
  7. Malabari and
  8. Ganjam

During XIth Plan five more field units on different goat breeds viz.

  1. Black Bengal,
  2. Osmanabadi,
  3. Gaddi,
  4. Assam Hill and
  5. Changthangi

Has been included and the technical programme was also modified.

Farm Based Units – Objectives

  1. To estimate genetic variance of economic traits in goats.
  2. To estimate breeding value of males and females.
  3. In-situ/ex-situ conservation of elite germplasm and its effective utilization.
  4. To estimate production economics of goats under farm conditions.
  5. To validate farm based goat production technologies under field conditions.

Farm Based Units - Technical Program

  1. Each unit will maintain 200-300 breedable does and 10 bucks under semi intensive system of management.
  2. Selection of males and females will be made on the basis of 6 months body weight in small breeds (Black Bengal) and 9 months body weight in medium and large breeds.
  3. Selection of females will also be done on the basis of age and weight at first kidding.
  4. Important production data like body weight at different age group (3, 6, 9 and 12 months), milk yield, kidding weight, age and weight at first kidding to be recorded.
  5. Culling will be done on the basis of selection criteria adopted for selection of the does.
  6. Feedlot studies will be conducted by the nutrition component worker for estimating FCE and carcass characteristics in 10 males upto 6, 9 & 12 months of age.
  7. Disease pattern and control measures will be undertaken by the goat health component worker.
  8. Selected superior sires will be maintained as the elite germplasm and 500 doses of semen of each elite buck will be stored in the Semen Bank by the reproduction component worker.
  9. Superior sires will be distributed for improving the production of goats in the farmers’ flocks. Semen of all the bucks will be tested for quality before use for breeding.
  10. Selection differential for body weight to be estimated.
  11. Economics of goat rearing will be analysed in collaboration with NCAP, Delhi.

Field based units:


  1. To assess the production performance of goat breeds in farmer’s flocks under village management system and improve the germplasm through selection.
  2. To evaluate the socio-economic status of goat breeders and the economics of goat production in farmers flock.
  3. To disseminate the pro-poor goat based technologies under field conditions and assessment of their impact on goat production.

Technical Programme:

  • The performance recording on growth, milk yield, reproduction, health etc. will be done separately for each group and reporting will be made accordingly.
  • Each unit will maintain at least 4 Centres having at least 600 breedable does under the coverage.
  • Selection of males and females will be made on the basis of 6 months body weight in small breeds (Black Bengal) and 9 months body weight in medium and large breeds.
  • Multiple birth born kids will be preferred over single born kids in the selection of future bucks.
  • Semen Bank will be established by each Unit to store at least 1000 doses of semen of each elite buck available in the field area to promote ex-situ conservation of the breed and 500 semen doses to be sent to NBAGR, Karnal.
  • The socio-economic studies will be undertaken and viability of goat rearing will be worked out.
  • Strategic supplementary feeding schedule will be followed to improve the nutritional level of the goats.
  • Health coverage will be provided to all the goats in the project area in collaboration with State Animal Husbandry Department.
  • Marketing aspects of live goats and goat products viz. meat, milk, skin, hair and manure will be studied.
  • Efforts will be made to form goat breeder’s societies, cooperative societies and to register the goat flocks in the breeding tract of the respective

Crux of Breeding Policy to improve existing genetic resources – Technical program for field based units

The coordinating unit of the AICRP on goat improvement is located at Central Institute for Research on Goats, Makhdoom, Farah, Mathura. The Project is coordinated by the Director of the Institute. However, a principal scientist is nominated as incharge P.C. Cell to support the Director in proper coordination of the administrative, technical and financial matters of the project. Name of the Unit Location Utility
From X Plan :
1. Jamunapari Farm Unit CIRG, Makhdoom Milk & Meat
2. Barbari Farm Unit CIRG, Makhdoom Milk & Meat
3. Sirohi Farm Unit CSWRI, Avikanagar (Raj.) Milk & Meat
4. Marwari Field Unit R.A.U. Bikaner (Raj.) Meat
5. Black Bengal Field Unit WBUVS & F, Kolkata Meat
6. Ganjam Field Unit OUA & T, Bhubaneshwar Meat
7. Sangamneri Field Unit MPKV, Rahuri (MH) Meat & Milk
8. Surti Field Unit N.A.U. Navsari (Gujarat) Milk & Meat
9. Malabari Field Unit K.A.U. Trichur (Kerala) Meat & Milk
10. Sirohi Field Unit M.P.U.A & T., Udaipur (Raj.) Meat & Milk

New Units approved during XI Plan : Name of the Unit Location Utility
1. Black Bengal Field Unit BAU, Ranchi (Jharkhand) Meat
2. Assam Hill Field Unit A.A.U. Guwahati (Assam) Meat
3. Gaddi Field Unit HPKC, Palampur (HP) Meat & Fibre
4. Osmanabadi Unit NARI, Phaltan (MH) Meat & Milk
5. Changthangi Unit* DRDO, Leh (J&K) Pashmina & Meat


There is huge hidden potential in Indian goat sector which can be exploit to generate new avenues of investments and returns. This sector is now organizing and more people are coming in this field and try to setup organized goat farms. Although it’s a challenge in Indian conditions; where very less number of state of art goat farms are present but addition of new scientific knowledge and wide availability of easy media like internet is helping the new entrepreneurs to setup organized goat farms. Supply chain creation and market organization is the basic thing to focus at this point of time.   Further, pastures are shrinking very rapidly and in coming future only stall feeding will be the main system of goat rearing.

In above discussion it is also clear that cross breeding with exotic breeds might be consider in our breeding policy to improve existing low producing goats. This will rapidly increase the production and helps in economizing the large farm operations.

In this section we have not discuss about Fibre production and its improvement. It will be discuss in Productivity part of this portal.