After his graduation in poultry science in 1966, Dr Gendalal Jain was appointed Assistant Professor at Udaipur University in India. After working for two years he continued his studies, leading to a PhD in Animal Breeding in 1971 from the University of British Columbia. Back in India, he rejoined Udiapur University where he taught various subjects. Later in 1974, he joined as Director, Central Poultry Breeding Farm, Govt. of India, where he successfully conducted the breeding programme for improvement of production in WHL and RIR chickens. During this period, he also established a Random Sample Test Centre both for broilers and layers.
In 1980, Dr Jain joined Venkateshwara Hatcheries Pvt. Ltd, Pune as Chief Geneticist and was instrumental in planning and execution of the breeding programme for both broilers and layers. Realizing that genotype – environment interaction is important, he designed and structured the Research programme to select and breed the chicken in the same environment and husbandry practices under which they have to perform at the farmers place in India. Dr Jain also realised that the relative economic merit for different traits of broilers and layers is different for western countries compared to the Indian market. He therefore, decided that the economic weightage to be given to different traits of economic importance in the selection index in his programme will have to be different than those that are used by geneticists in the Western world.
This tailoring of the breeding programme according to the need and requirements of Indian poultry farmers, helped Dr Jain and his team to overcome the biggest challenge that is to develop products (broilers and layers) which perform better than the imported products in Indian type of environmental and husbandry conditions as well as the market requirements and thereby give maximum returns to Indian Poultry farmers.
The layer strain, BV300 developed by Dr Jain and his team has been the market leader consistently for the last 30 years. The market share of BV300 has been over 85% of the total layer sales in India in spite of the availability of various well-known International Breeds.
Similarly, the performance of Vencobb strain of broilers developed by Dr Jain and his team improved dramatically over the years. The Vencobb has also been enjoying a market share between 65% to 70% for the last 2 decades, as of today it is more than 75%.
The most significant impact of indigenous breeding programme conducted by Dr Jain and his special contribution to Indian Poultry Industry is that small and marginal farmers with very small land holding and very little investment could take up poultry as their vocation by constructing sheds with local material like thatch roof and still get standard performance. This has brought great prosperity to many farmers who increased their flock size from 500 to 100,000+ birds.
Dr Jain received Lifetime Achievement Award from B.V. Rao Poultry Research Foundation in 2001 and prestigious M.S. Swaminathan Award in 2005 for his contribution to the Poultry industry and Indian agriculture at large. A Scroll of Honour was also presented to him by Indian Poultry Science Association in 2008, in recognition of his contribution in the success of Poultry farming in India.
Acknowledging Dr Jain’s work the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India conferred the ‘National Award for R&D efforts in Industry’ to Broiler R&D Unit in 1990 and Layer R&D unit in 1994. His company also got National Productivity Award from the Indian government.
Dr Jain is one of the very few Geneticists in world, who has successfully conducted both the Layer and Broiler breeding programme over the past 31 years. He has published research papers and made presentations at many International conferences.
Dr Jain has been active member of WPSA (India Branch) for last many years.