|ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND HEALTH PAPER VOL. 13|
|Buffalo reproduction and artificial insemination|
Over a considerable number of years FAO has emphasized the actual and potential value of the water buffalo (BubalUS bubalis) and has endeavoured to stimulate interest in this neglected domestic animal while focussing attention on the need for investigation, detailed trials, observations and research in many disciplines in order to close the gaps in knowledge. -
The growing interest of the developing countries of the East, where the water buffalo is either an indigenous or a longterm resident, has been reflected in the Near East and Europe, where it is a more recent introduction, and in several countries of South America and the Caribbean, where buffalo stocks, introduced during the present century. are making a considerable headway.
There are many gaps in our knowledge of the biology of the buffalo, which must be closed if the full potential of the animal is to be realized. Many of the biological and socio-economic problems limiting the efficiency of production and a proper utilization of the buffalo require careful and intensive research. The domestic water buffalo population of the world constitutes a major source of farm power, milk and meat. In spite of its importance in the overall economy of many countries, no major efforts have as yet been made to increase the farm level output from the buffalo through improved feeding and management, and the conservation. preservation and use of selected, superior germ plasm. Rational selective breeding under conditions embodying better nutrition and improved health control, can yield spectacular results in no more than two buffalo generations especially where, as in India and Pakistan for example, the genetic potential is abundant.
One of the important areas in buffalo research is reproduction and artificial insemination. The FAO organised the seminar on Reproduction and Artificial Insemination of Buffaloes from 4-15 December, 1978, with the full cooperation and support of the Government of India, as a part of the wide-ranging FAO programme for artificial insemination and breeding development which is operated by a Trust Fund established by the Government of Sweden. Scientists from sixteen countries participated in this Seminar with its objectives : (i) to create a forum for persons engaged in buffalo reproduction and artificial insemination for the exchange of experience, (ii) to exchange the know-how amongst participants in the field 'of buffalo reproduction and artificial insemination by lectures, reports, demonstrations and discussions as a basis for their contribution to the development of buffalo production, (iii) to establish an up-to-datedocumentation of the present stage of development of buffalo reproduction and artificial insemination based on lectures and reports presented at the Seminar, as well as conclusions of the discussions, and (iv) to assess the need for a communication/documentation centre on buffalo reproduction and, if found feasible, to propose a location and operational procedures for such a centre.
The full proceedings of the Seminar, including the text of the working papers, are presented in the following pages.
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