Haryana is the home of Murrah water buffalo. Here in Haryana, the Murrah buffalo keeping has a special role as its husbandry has been the way of life. Consequently, Haryana has the privilege of being known as the livestock mint of India. It is an acknowledged fact that the buffalo is a better converter of coarse feeds into fat-rich milk even under harsh agro-climatic situations. Haryana has the world’s best dairy type buffalo — the Murrah — capable of milk yields as high as 35 kg a day. The buffalo of Murrah breed, which is described as the “Asian tractor”, is in fact triple purpose animal — for milk, meat and work.
The Murrah buffalo is the finest genetic material of milk producing buffalo in the world. This breed has beaten the best dairy cows of the world in performance. Haryana’s trade in milch animals outside the state lends undoubtedly a great economic fillip to rural breeders of Murrah buffalo. Of the total production of milk of India, about 53 per cent comes from buffaloes, 43 per cent from cows and 4 per cent from goats and sheep. For cow milk, the average fat varies from 3 to 5 per cent and for buffalo milk from 7.5 to 9 per cent. In economic terms, therefore, the rearing of buffalo is advantageous than cow keeping.
Considering the above facts, advanced dairy countries are studying the economics of Murrah buffalo keeping. During the past one year, a United States dairy firm had purchased Murrah buffaloes, each yielding over 25 kg milk a day, at a cost of Rs 2.5 lakh each from Haryana. This shows that rich countries will soon switch over to Murrah husbandry.
Chaudhary Charan Singh Agricultural University, Hissar
National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal