By Basanta Parajuli Rampur, Oct. 28: Experts in Nepal have succeeded in providing off-season breeding of buffaloes reared for milk and meat. A long research conducted by the Agriculture and Forestry University on off--season breeding of buffalo has been successful, said chief researcher Prof. Dr. Bhuminandan Devkota. "We have succeeded in breeding off-season buffaloes," said Prof. Dr. Devkota, who is also the chairman of the organising committee of the Asia Buffalo Conference in Chitwan.
Devkota said, “In the last five years, we have conducted research on 200 buffaloes in different parts of Nepal and succeeded in breeding 94 buffaloes in off-season, which is 47 per cent of the total fertility." The main breeding season for buffalo is from July to December. This is considered to be the breeding season of buffaloes as it is time when green grass and nutritious food are available and it is easy to play in the water during the rainy season.
The buffaloes give birth 10 months after conceiving. But the dry season from February to April is considered to be the off-season for buffalo breeding. The Agriculture and Forest University had conducted research on buffaloes in Rampur buffalo farm of Chitwan, animal development farm of Pokhara and Sarara animal development farm of Sunsari. It is said that the off-season breeding has already been applied in the buffaloes of the farmers.
The students pursuing doctoral and postgraduate degrees in animal science at the university have been mobilised for this research. "We have been studying the off-season breeding of buffaloes for the last 15 years. Over the last five years, it has gradually begun to good result,” Prof. Dr. Devkota said. There are more than a hundred species of buffaloes across the world. Of these, five species of buffaloes are reared in Nepal.
In Nepal, four local, including Lime, Parkote, Gaddi and Terai breeds and one imported from India (Murra) are reared. Lime, Parkote and Gaddi are reared in the hilly areas while Terai buffalo and Murra are reared in the Terai. Associate Professor of Veterinary Sciences under the University of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Subir Singh said that 5.5 million buffaloes are reared in Nepal.
According to statistics, more than 90 per cent of over 100 species of buffaloes of the world are in Asia.
Asian buffalo conference begins The 10th Asian Buffalo Conference kicked off from Monday with the slogan "Buffalo for food security and livelihood". The conference, which started here with the objective of contributing to the development and consolidation of buffalo rearing, will continue for five days. Inaugurating the conference, which was organised through virtual medium, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Mahendra Rai Yadav said that buffalo rearing has greatly helped in food security and livelihood.
“Buffalo is a very useful animal. Buffalo farming has helped significantly in uplifting the living standards of the people in the rural and urban areas of Nepal," he said. Stating that the government of Nepal has also given high priority to buffalo rearing occupation, Minister Yadav said that the government is committed to bring special programmes for the research and protection of buffaloes.