The NARI-Suvarna is a new one, but it boasts the same impressive increase in twinning rate: these sheep give birth to twins about 60% of the time. As you might expect, the NARI-Suvarna costs a bit more than the local Hassan sheep. The NARI-Suvarna costs about $123, compared to $95 for the local variety NARI Suvarna sheep are widely seen in the southern part of India. Karnataka(India) has a sheep population of 9.53 million as per the 2012 livestock census. About 36 percent of the sheep population is slaughtered annually for meat in the country. There is an unsatisfied market for mutton in the country and also a great potentiality for export of mutton, especially to middle east countries. Due to the wide gap between the supply and demand of mutton, its cost has become very high.
At NARI, the FecB gene was introduced into NARI Suvarna sheep from the Garole sheep breed of Sundarban, West Bengal and using the DNA test and scientific and systematic breeding over 15 years, a sheep that looks like the Deccani or Bellary but has the ability to give twin lambs, was developed with the financial assistance from the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research from 1998 to 2007 and from the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India from 2009 to 2012 for the FecB gene introduction project. NARI Suvarna ewes have the ability to have a twin and triplet lambs and also ability to rear the lambs successfully.
The FecB gene brings about an increase in ovulation rate leading to an increase in twinning(fecundity). ‘Fec’ stands for ‘fecundity’ or the ability to have multiple births and ‘B’ stands for ‘Booroola’ which is the name of the farm in Australia where the Booroola gene was first discovered in a strain of Merino sheep. NARI Suvarna sheep are well adapted to the hot and dry climate of the Deccan plateau with temperatures going up to 42 deg Celcius in the summer and down to 8 deg Celcius in the winter. NARI Suvarna ewes are adapted to grazing for 8 to 10 hours a day frequently under harsh circumstances. Sofar around 250 eves have been supplied in different part s of Karnataka state and most of these ewes have adapted well to the new conditions. Similarly, around 338 Rams and 432 ewes have been supplied by BARI in Karnataka state. Several farmers in the Tumkur District of Karnataka have procured the breeding stock from NARI and maintaining them successfully by adopting improved husbandry practices.