We are privileged to introduce ourselves as “ANKUSH” a non-profit organization, striving for environment protection along with conservation, research, high genetic breed improvement of Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus Cattle, Women Empowerment and Sustainable Farming. Over the last 4 years, “ANKUSH” has been operating High Genetic Breed Improvement Centers, which support 32 breeds of Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus cattle.
Conservation of Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus cattle genetic bio diversity is very critical at this juncture, where already 27 of 64 Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus cow breeds are extinct and the number is expected to climb to add another 15 breeds in the next 5 years as per UN FAO, the conservation of its biodiversity is crucial because it provides several goods and services necessary for human survival and is directly linked with providing livelihoods and improving socio-economic conditions of over 800 million people, for those who live on as little as a dollar a day.
Empowering women farmers improves food security for all
A new Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy study advocates that women livestock keepers worldwide must be recognized as the major actors in efforts to arrest the decline of indigenous breeds, which are crucial for rural food security and animal genetics.
66% of the 600 million poor livestock keepers in the world are Women, whose men often have migrated to the cities. Women stay at home with the children and live by cultivating crops and keeping indigenous small stock such as chickens or goats, and perhaps a cow.
Milk from dairy cows has been regarded as nature's perfect food, providing an important source of nutrients including high quality proteins, carbohydrates and selected micronutrients. More than 95% of the cow milk proteins are constituted by caseins and whey proteins. Among the caseins, beta casein is the second most abundant protein and has excellent nutritional balance of amino acids. Different mutations in bovine beta casein gene have led to 12 genetic variants and out of these A1 and A2 are the most common. The A1 and A2 variants of beta casein differ at amino acid position 67 with histidine (CAT) in A1 and proline (CCT) in A2 milk as a result of single nucleotide difference. This polymorphism leads to a key conformational change in the secondary structure of expressed β-casein protein. Gastrointestinal proteolytic digestion of A1 variant of β-casein (raw/processed milk) leads to generation of bioactive peptide, beta casomorphin 7 (BCM7). Infants may absorb BCM-7 due to an immature gastrointestinal tract whereas adults gather the biological activity locally on the intestinal brush boarder. In hydrolysed milk with variant A1 of beta-casein, BCM-7 level is 4-fold higher than in A2 milk. Initial studies on Bos Indicus/Zebu cows, buffalo and Bos Taurus cows (taurine type) have revealed that A1 allele is more frequent in Bos Taurus cattle while Bos Indicus/Zebu dairy cows have only A2 allele, and hence are a source for safe milk.
Recently, a relationship between disease risk and consumption of a specific bovine β-casein fraction with either A1 or A2 genetic variants has been identified. BCM7 is suggested to be associated as a risk factor for human health hazards as it can potentially affect numerous opioid receptors in the nervous, endocrine and immune system. It is also known to be an oxidant of low dietary lipoproteins (LDL) and oxidation of LDL is believed to be important in formation of arterial plaque. Epidemiological evidences claim that consumption of beta-casein A1 milk is associated as a risk factor for type-1 diabetes, coronary heart disease, arteriosclerosis, sudden infant death syndrome, autism, schizophrenia etc. A broad range of studies from American, Australian, Indian, New Zealand and European investigations has shown reduction in autistic and schizophrenic symptoms with decrease in A1 milk intake. Further, animal trials have also supported the linking of type-1 diabetes to milk exposure in general and A1 beta-casein in particular.
Populations, which consume milk containing high levels of β-casein A2 variant, have a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and type-1 diabetes. The A1/A2 hypothesis is both intriguing and potentially very important for public health if it is proved correct. It should be taken seriously and deeper research is needed to verify the range and nature of BCM7 interactions with the human gastrointestinal tract and whole organism. This requires more of animal trials and generation of data on human subjects having the problems related to A1/A2 beta-casein milk consumption. The A1 milk is considered to be associated with diabetic, obesity, cardiovascular diseases. A2 Milk of Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus cows are more beneficial, micronutrients like cytokines and minerals present enhance the immune system.
The Canadian Pediatric Society new research shows that, children should drink two cups of cow milk a day to ensure they are getting adequate levels of vitamin D and iron. Researchers from the University of Melbourne believe cow milk can be potentially developed into affordable creams that can help protect humans against HIV. Cows of Bos Indicus/Zebu are recognized as producers of A2 type milk is considered most important for baby food and milk formulae.
The Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus cattle products are now proved to be of utmost importance in the following fields: Agricultural, Medicinal, Cosmetics, Nutritional, Environment, Energy resources. Cattle products support the goals of Mahatma Gandhi global initiatives on cow manure bio gas energy alternatives by creating sustainable rural employment through cottage industries (five important bovine/cow products – milk, yoghurt, clarified butter, urine and dung), these components are used either alone or in combination with other herbs for treatment of several diseases, and related developments such as bio gas energy plants and natural farming. Rural jobs will lead to the elimination of poverty for many families.
“ANKUSH” is to make people more aware of their agricultural heritage and, through education and niche marketing, involve them in conserving endangered Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus cattle breeds of farm livestock.
“ANKUSH” envisions a future where people are aware of their agricultural heritage and are involved in the preservation of endangered breeds of Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus cattle, internationally. This involvement will be through a broad spectrum of sustainable Indian farms, which are economically and ecologically responsible, viable over the long term and will not deplete their resource base. In this vision, the gene pool will be preserved in the form of living animals as well as in gene banks.
No single organization or individual alone can save nearly 32 recognized Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus breeds of cattle. Without your help, these beautiful, historic and useful breeds could be lost; your help to "ANKUSH" will conserve rare breeds of Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus cattle for future generations. You are making a big difference – by supporting conservation of Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus cattle.
“ANKUSH” has established a model recognized Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus cattle breeding project and spreads awareness amongst our villagers/farmers, brothers, and sisters to bring prosperity and health. The project aims towards holistic development of villagers. The improved Zebu/Desi/Bos Indicus cattle breeding, Bio-gas plants, natural farming, development of cottage industries based on cow products (milk, yoghurt, ghee, urine and dung) are the major activities for sustainable income and employment generation. The strategy of a sustainable conservation cattle breeding program is the key to success. Zebu/Desi/ cattle are highly profitable, and by restoring their numbers positive results can be achieved by linking bovine animals with the objective of making the agriculture sector profitable. The key resource here is the Zebu/Desi/ cow.
“ANKUSH” is to make people more aware of ZEBU/DESI A2 Milk and its products!