Male Buffalo Calf Rearing in India - I

Few days back Govt. of India has announced a scheme aiming at promoting male buffalo calves rearing which has been named as “Salvaging & Rearing of male buffalo Calves Scheme”. The scheme has come in to operation with effect from 12 July, 2010. Budget provision for the scheme during 2010-2012 is Rs.121.62 Cr.

The department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DAHD&F), Ministry of Agriculture, GOI, is the focal department for operating the scheme. The sanction and release of subsidy will be managed by NABARD, and is subject to availability of funds and adherence of the instructions issued by DAHD&F, Govt. of India and NABARD from time to time.

Objectives of the scheme

  • The schemes aim at salvaging male buffalo calves & rearing them economically for meat production.
  • Recovery of hides to enlarge raw material base for leather industry.
  • To improve availability of by-products.
  • To generate employment opportunities in rural area.


Brief Introduction

India ranks first in world accounting for more than 50% of world’s buffalo production &n it has shown a positive growth over the years. It has been observed that about eight million male buffalo calves are removed from buffalo production system in the country due to killing by farmers with a view to save on mother’s milk & other feed resources.

Livestock farmers do not consider raising of male animals to be remunerative; as a result, the country suffers a loss of about Rs.75 Cr per year. High mortality of buffalo calves (42-88%) was also revealed in a study conducted by CLRI (Central Leather Research Institute), Chennai. These calves could otherwise be salvaged for meat production & recovery of hide, thereby improving economic condition of poor farmers & providing quality meat for export market & domestic consumption.

Presently, buffalo accounts for about 25% (376000 Tones) of the total meat production in the country, which is mostly produced from spent animals. In Maharashtra State the buffalo meat production is from recognized sector for the year 2008-09 is 96000 Tones. Raising these male buffalo calves will also generate additional employment in rural area. Hence, it is proposed to rear male buffalo calves for meat production & recovery of hides.

This article is part of a series I am writing on “Salvaging & Rearing of male buffalo Calves Scheme” that will provide basic introduction, information about a centrally sponsored scheme, operational guidelines of the scheme, sample project cost at a glance, and general tips on establishing the units etc.

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