After the controversy surrounding the claim over world’s first buffalo clone three years back, Indian scientists today claimed to have cloned world’s first pashmina goat. This, they say, was done using an indigenously-developed technique — the cost-effective “hand guided technique” earlier used to produce India’s first cloned buffalo.
The cloned female pashmina kid was born on March 9, 2012, according to reports. The scientists used somatic cells from the ear of a goat to produce the clone. The healthy baby is reportedly under medical observation. The World Bank-funded project was a collaboration between Srinagar-based Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUSAT) and National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal (NDRI).
Pashmina goats are considered valuable for the economy of Jammu and Kashmir for their wool that produces the exquisite pashmina shawls and other products. There has been a decline in their population in the last few years and so the news of cloning comes as a blessing for all the pashmina workers in the region, who have seen bad days owing to the short supply of pashmina wool. The cloning technique, if perfected and commercially exploited, could bring back the glory days for these craftsmen in the Jammu and Kashmir valley and help boost its ailing economy.