Breeding Strategies for Sustainable Buffalo Production

The relatively high yielding buffaloes of well-defined buffalo breeds are maintained under intensive production system at organized farms and mainly under semi-intensive management system in farmers’ herds in the breeding tracts of different buffalo breeds.  Selective breeding is practiced for bringing about genetic improvement in buffalo breeds. For this purpose, existing organized farms of Murrah, Surti, Mehsana, Nili Ravi, Nagpuri, Bhadawari and Jaffarabadi buffalo breeds need to be strengthened for production of genetically superior breeding bulls.

In certain pockets of states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka, Surti is recommended to be the breed of choice. Murrah is generally the breed of choice in the states of Haryana, parts of Punjab, and Western U.P besides few pockets in Punjab where Nili Ravi has sizable population and it also needs to be improved through selective breeding. The genetic improvement in indigenous buffalo breeds for higher milk production, reduction in age at maturity, reduction in service period, dry period and calving interval will lead to higher economic returns to the farmers.  

By selective breeding, through networking of multi-herds of a particular breed, it is expected that genetic improvement in milk production will be achieved ranging from 1 to 1.5% per annum in herds at organized farms and 8-10% per annum in farmers’ herds.