1. Animal Husbandry

Punjab to Launch Buffalo Research Centre

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

To encourage farmers to opt for animal husbandry and dairy professions for doubling the Farmers income as allied business apart from the farming. The Punjab Government has comeout with the proposal to start a Buffalo Research Centre (BRC) at Booh in Tarn Taran District. The centre would start its operation from Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) at village Booh.

India has 58 percent  the world's buffaloes and 35 percent of India's cattle are buffaloes. Buffalo milk is 70 percent  of the total milk yield in India, with its national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) share being larger than wheat and rice combined. Buffalo meat makes up 86 percent  of India's total meat exports, earning INR 26,000 crore (US$4 billion) in 2013-14.

As per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), report, the global buffalo population was 148 million in 1992. Asia has 98 percent  of the global buffalo population of nearly 194 million. In 2003, India had 98 million water buffalo (57 percent  of world's buffalo population), followed by 23 million in China, 3.2 million swamp-type carabao in the Philippines. Buffalo play an important part in India's national and rural economy. 

The motive behind setting up the research centre was to encourage farmers to opt for animal husbandry and dairy professions, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries said.

He was presiding over a meeting held to review the progress on the setting up of the centre.

Sidhu said the Punjab Government, in its maiden budget, had earmarked Rs 20 crore for the establishment of a buffalo research centre at Patti, district Tarn Taran. However, during a meeting, it was decided that the centre would start its operation from Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) at village Booh, he said.

The centre would be affiliated with Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, he said.

Farmers would be imparted training on the animal husbandry and dairy farming with latest available technology at the centre, he said. Sidhu said he would visit Booh on June 25.

The Punjab Government and Guru Anagad Dev University would jointly arrange a gathering of progressive farmers at Booh, where they would share experiences and techniques with the others who wish to opt for animal husbandry and dairy farming profession, Sidhu said.

However, the Haryana is already having the Central Institute for Research on Buffalo (CIRB)`s Murrah Semen for buffalo  breeding The main campus is at Hisar, with a satellite campus at Nabha in Punjab, and two regional stations in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat respectively. CIRB makes high-quality semen available for buffalo breeding at a very low cost to India's farmers. Semen and buffaloes, particularly the Murrah buffalo, are exported to other nations worldwide for the improvement of the breed.

The Buffalo Research Centre (BRC) in Punjab shall be able to serve the farming community with additional income and shall be also able to export for foreign exchange earnings.

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