Business / Industry Sectors
"India have the size and potential; Israel has the technology"
31/07/2014
Mr. Bhosale, Founder and Director of Provet Genetics India, spoke to Israel-India Business regarding the need for India to engage in technology transfer with Israel in the areas of cattle breeding, dairy farming, animal husbandry and milk processing

Mr. Pratap Bhosale has over 30 years of experience in the field of dairy farming and related areas. He has worked with companies spanning the United States of America, Israel and India. He spent four years in Israel, working in an automated dairy farm that lead him to specialize in the dairy field, up to the point of being one of the four candidates for the post of Chairman of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) of India, according to a report in India’s Economic Times. He plans to encourage and upgrade the Indian Dairy Industry by extending cooperation with Israeli companies.

 

For the last two years, Mr. Bhosale has been working closely with Israeli companies in implementing the highest quality of technology to improve the genetic quality of dairy cattle in India.

 

Mr. Bhosale, you have had a tremendous career in the US over several years. What made you decide to take residence in India a couple of years ago?

 

Even when studying and working in USA, I always had the Indian scenario in mind. Knowing the issues and some solutions I always wanted to share whatever little knowledge I have with the farming community in India. Once my children graduated I decided to move back to India. We can say in Sanskrit that I am in the VANAPRASTHASHRAM stage in my life (this is third stage of life in the Vedic ashram system, when a person gradually withdraws from the world. This stage comes after the completion of household duties in the second ashram phase Grihastha - household life).

 

You had spent some time in Israel a few years ago. Can you tell us briefly about your experiences there?  What did you do?

 

I had an opportunity to stay at Kibbutz Magen in the Negev for extended period where I worked on large automated dairy farms and learned how to manage black and white cows in hot weather. I learned about cow comfort and TMR without any fresh greens. This farming was a great experience in 1983.

 

What are the key areas you are currently involved in India? What are your plans?

 

I am currently involved in improving yield of crossbred cows by introducing good quality genetics in dairy cattle as with good genetics Indian poultry is at par with developed world. I hope to improve yield of India Holsteins to 10,000 liters per year from 2,000. Along with improving crossbreds, I am also keen on preserving and propagating Indian breeds like Gir, Red Sindhi and Tharparkar. 

 

We understand that you have great interest in collaborating with Israeli companies on dairy farming, animal husbandry and in milk processing. Can you tell us a bit about that?

 

I think India and Israel are not politically aligned but Israel can be a great source of knowhow to India. Israel has achieved so much progress in adverse climate and political condition that India can really imitate by means of technology transfer.

 

I will use an example: the genetic advancement in cattle of Israel has been limited because Israel has only 100,000 cows therefore the genetic material they produce will have a huge surplus. While India has over 200 million cattle which consume the entire surplus that can be marketed in India at reasonable price to Indian farmers.

 

You have recently accompanied a team from an agricultural trust Central Maharashtra on a study tour of Israel. Was it successful? Did your counterparts in Israel show interest in any kind of collaboration?

 

It was a very fruitful. It was an interactive study tour where our entire delegation was impressed. They witnessed many opportunities, which could transform the Indian agriculture scenario in a very positive way. Several technical collaborations are in the pipeline. We felt welcomed and received a lot of useful information. I am expecting many agreements in the near future to happen.

 

In terms of superior Israeli technology, what is India lacking today and how can India with the help of Israel fill this void?

 

India does have the size and potential to be the food basket of the entire world and what it needs is suitable technologies which are available in Israel that can be improvised upon to suit Indian conditions, in turn increasing the agricultural yields manifolds.

 

How do you see the Indian dairy scene developing over the next five years or so?

 

The Current Indian Milk output is 130 million tons per year. By 2020 India need the production to be over 200 million tons, which seems to be an uphill task. India needs to progress in the area of Genetics, Nutrition, and Cow Comfort. In all of those areas I see that Israeli technology can play a vital role.

 

What basic steps are to be taken to improve yield in India? How can Israeli technology help?

 

India needs good genetics, better nutrition for cows which is cost effective, and cow comfort management. Israel can be the solution in almost every aspect, as Israel has highest milk average in the world. India can use better Israeli genetics which Israel achieved after decades of hard work. Same thing can apply to nutrition management. I happen to see Israeli milking and milk processing units being used even in North America.

 

Do you think the new government at the centre will have any impact in improving conditions and in making the dairy sector healthier looking?

 

The new government at center considers itself as protector of cows and many of the leaders believe that best way to protect cow is to make her profitable to keep. The new government also considers Israel as a natural ally and we hope there will be a lot of inflow of technology from Israel to India.

 

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