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Authors: Chandra Nath, Sanjib
Keywords: Aggregated score of concern, buffalo farming, breeding constraints, disease constraints, buffalo milk and meat, bathan system.
Issue Date: Jul-2021
Publisher: Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Khulshi, Chattogram-4225, Bangladesh
Abstract: Water buffalo holds the second position in the worlds’ milk production and its contribution in certain south Asian countries is higher than cow milk production. In Bangladesh, buffaloes contribute only 3-4% to the national milk production. The constraints of water buffalo rearing have not been studied systematically in Bangladesh. The present cross-sectional study was therefore conducted to investigate the qualitative and quantitative constraints of buffalo farming in Bangladesh, determine the level of concern of buffalo farmers and livestock professionals, assess the relationship between concern level and farm demographic factors, and identify the farmer’s demand for sustainable buffalo rearing. A total of 170 farms were conveniently selected from seven buffalo concentrated areas of Bangladesh. We also conducted an online google survey for the livestock professionals (n=50). Based on the literature, a list of issues around buffalo farming was constructed. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information like farm demography, constraints related to housing, feeding, breeding, disease, and marketing of buffalo milk. Likert scale questions (1-5) were used to investigate the perception of the farmers and livestock professionals regarding constraints. The aggregated score of concern was calculated by summarizing the subtracted value of each constraint score from the median. No significant difference (p=0.81) was observed between the perceived level of concerns of the farmers and livestock professionals. Three farm demographic factors- farm type, education and position of the interviewee were found significantly related to the aggregated score of concern. Semi-bathan (β=-12.2; p=0.004) and household or intensive (β=-10.5; p=0.02) farming system compared to bathan system and interviewees other than the owner (β=-16.3; p=0.002) compared to the owner were found less concerned. On the other hand, literate farmers (β=8.9; p=0.01) compared to illiterate were found highly concerned. Lack of available wallowing area, the high construction cost of the shed and lack of skilled labor were the major housing constraint, while the high price of concentrate and unavailable grazing land were the major constraints under feeding management. Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that not practicing balanced ration (β=2.4; p=0.04), not having available drinking water (β=3.3; p=0.008) and knowledge about UMS (β=2.0; p=0.04) were positively correlated with a high aggregated score of concern of feeding constraints. Farmers opined that preference of natural insemination; poor conception rate of AI and xiii poor quality of semen were the top breeding constraints. Additionally, not having breeding bull (β=3.04; p=0.006) was positively correlated with a high concern score of breeding constraints compared to having breeding bull, and farmers who detected heat by observation (β=-6.9; p=0.00) and both methods (β=-4.39; p=0.004) were less concerned compared to the farmers detect heat with the help of bull. Farmers of bathan and semi-bathan systems were less aware of using deworming and vaccination resulting in more disease outbreaks. However, important disease constraints were remote veterinary facilities, higher calf mortality rate and lack of knowledge about vaccination and deworming. It was found that a higher calf mortality rate (≤11) was positively associated (β=1.96; p=0.06) with a higher aggregated score of concern of disease constraints. On the other hand, not getting enough milk price (β=2.1; p=0.01) was positively associated and low cost of transportation (β=-1.99; p=0.02) was negatively associated with an aggregated score of concern of economic and marketing constraints. Nevertheless, major economic and marketing constraints were low milk price and higher transport cost. The majority of the farmers opined that buffalo milk and meat were good for health (81.5%) and it was economically profitable (94.9%). However, the constraints identified in this study should be considered to take necessary strategies by the policymakers to overcome the current situation.
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