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Scientists in Kashmir successfully clone Pashmina goat

By Mukhtar Ahmad
March 13, 2012 22:28 IST
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Scientists at the Kashmir Agriculture University have produced the world's first cloned Pashmina goat.

"Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry Sheri Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) has made a breakthrough by successfully cloning the first Pashmina goat using advanced reproductive techniques under the leadership of associate professor, Centre of Animal Biotechnology, Dr Riaz Ahmad Shah," an official statement said in Srinagar on Tuesday evening.

"Success was achieved under the World Bank funded project called National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) of ICAR and took two years for standardisation of the technique. The healthy female kid was born on March 9 using the foster mother," the statement said.

"Dr Riaz was the key researcher in the team of scientists who earlier in 2009 gave the first cloned buffalo calf, "Garima" to the world using the same handmade cloning technique while doing research at National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana," the statement said.

"The brief about this achievement was given by Director Research Dr Shafiq A Wani on Tuesday during the inaugural session of a weeklong training programme on 'Reproductive technologies in sheep and goat' being organised by Centre of Animal Biotechnology, where scientists and field officers from various departments are participating as trainees."

Vice chancellor, SKUAST Dr Tej Partap and other officers of the university appreciated the team of scientists for the remarkable achievement and hoped that the technology will help improve lot of Pashmina goats particularly in the Ladakh region to harness better income opportunities for the people of the region.

The world's famous Pashmina shawls are highly priced and made from the wool of the Pashmina goats that are reared in the cold desert region of Ladakh.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
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