A status report on the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis Linnaeus, 1758) industry in Trinidad. (200)
Keywords:Buffalypso, buffalo, constraints, males, females, brucellosis
AbstractThe objectives of this study were to (a) determine the number of water buffaloes/buffalypso (WB) in Trinidad, (b) to identify the constraints via an open ended questionnaire, to WB production faced by private farmers and c) to update on the present status of brucellosis in the country. The survey was conducted in 2012 to determine the number of Water Buffalo (WB) at seventeen (17) privately owned farms and three (3) Government farms in Trinidad; and to identify the constraints to WB production on the former. The number of WB recorded from the locations surveyed was 1513, comprising 1039 from government owned farms and 474 from 17 privately owned farms. The 17 privately owned WB farmers were interviewed via a questionnaire and responses tallied to determine the challenges to WB production. Animal numbers of WB ranged from 4-150 on private farms. The purpose for which the animals were reared was for milk production (6%, 1/17), meat production (48%, 8/17), work (29%, 5/17) and pets (19%, 3/17). The major concerns faced by private farmers were a shortage of labour, pasture availability and a lack of extension services. Farmers were interested in expanding their herd size and forming an association to address their concerns. The number of WB in Trinidad appears to have declined in 2012 compared to 2004. The major factor responsible for the decline was a Brucellosis test and cull policy implemented by the Government. New and innovative strategies including reproductive bio techniques are needed to preserve the genetic legacy of the Buffalypso, as the WB can significantly contribute to sustainable food production in Trinidad.