Licentiat thesis at Ultuna
Licentiat thesis on Indian buffaloes:
PhD candidate Mikaela Ståhl Högberg, at the Dept of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, defends her Licenciat thesis on Improved Feeding Systems Leading to Higher Milk Yield for Indian Dairy Buffaloes, Friday 31 May, 2002, at 10.00. Venue: Hörsal O, SLU, Ultuna.
Water buffaloes account for more than half of the Indian milk production, but their productivity is low. One of the major constraints is the sub-optimal feeding. Improved feeding systems at farm level would increase the milk yield and decrease the production cost.
The objective of this thesis is to link the specific details of animal science with the overall picture of managing dairy animals in farmers lives.
The specific research problems investigated in this thesis are dairy buffalo nutrient requirements, utilisation of feed resources and farmers views on feeding and feeds, and how they described the possibilities and constraints to improve milk production.
In a quantitative study, farmers in two areas in Hisar district (rainfed/irrigated) were interviewed. The farmers with access to irrigation were able to supply their buffaloes with more green feeds than the farmers in the rainfed area. No farmer gave their buffaloes feed enough to sustain a high milk yield.
The qualitative study in Punjab revealed that lack of formal knowledge regarding feeding, feeds and management of buffaloes was the most important reasons as to why buffalo farmers did not try silage making. The lack of knowledge could be a result of limited contact with the extension services.
Farmers described dairy farming as important because it provided the household with milk, income from milk and feed sales. Maximising production was not seen as a priority to the farmers I met.