Buffalo is playing a vital role in the livestock sector of Pakistan and it is a major contributor to the country’s economy. Buffalo in Pakistan is being mainly used for milk and meat purposes and to a lesser extent for draught purposes. Out of total milk produced in the country, 68% is being produced by buffalo. Also, Pakistan is the second-highest buffalo milk producer with 19.9MT milk production.
Buffalo belongs to Genus Bubalus and specie is B.Bubalis.
There are two important types of buffalo breeds throughout the world
- Riverine Buffalo
- Swamp Buffalo
Buffalo in Pakistan is mainly of Riverine type, and it is farmed for milk production. In Pakistan, there are five buffalo breeds
- Azi-Kheli (or Azakheli)
The two breeds Ravi and Nili are less reared these days due to their less number and less production as compared to their crossbreed Nili-Ravi
- Nili-Ravi is known as the Black Gold of Pakistan and also considered the best buffalo breed in the world.
- The home track of the Nili-Ravi breed lies between the rivers Satluj and Ravi.
- Nili-Ravi is a cross of two breeds Nili and Ravi, these were two separate breeds until 1963.
- The body is wedge-shaped with black color.
- This breed has five white marks over the muzzle, forehead, lower parts of legs, udder, and tail switch that’s why also called “Panj Kalian.”
- In lactating animals udder is fully developed.
- Male attains maturity at age of 30 months while Female attains maturity at age of 36 months.
- Milk yield is about 1800-2500 liters/lactation with a 6.5% milk percentage.
- Average male body weight reaches 550-650kg while female body weight is between 350-450kg.
- The home tract of Kundi lies on both sides of the Indus river from Kashmore to Shah Bandar (Sindh).
- The body is jet-black colored with a broad forehead, short neck, short horns, and medium-sized ears.
- The horns are broad at the base and taper upward and inward giving a fish hook shape that’s why it is called “Kundi.”
- In lactating animals udder is moderately developed.
- Males reach puberty at the age of 30 months while Female reaches puberty at age of 36 months.
- Milk yield is about 1700-2200 liters/lactation with 6% milkfat and lactation duration of 320 days.
- The average body weight of males and females is 500-600kg and 300-400kg respectively.
- This breed can be found throughout the Swat valley.
- Color variation in this breed can be found from complete albino to piebald to even complete black body color.
- The azi-Kheli breed has been named after a local tribe “Aziz Khell.”
- Young animals have normal brownish hairs but the hair coat becomes scanty in adults.
- The tail is characteristically short and slender.
- In lactating animals udder is fairly developed.
- The estimated body weight is 350-450kg.
- Milk yield per lactation is 1800 liters.
- The average age at first calving is 45 months.
- These buffalos are generally docile.
Livestock and dairy development board.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.