Buffalo Farming: Its Significance in Economy of Pakistan.

Buffalo farming plays a significant role in Pakistan’s livestock economy. Buffalo farming is increasingly considered for milk and meat production. Ravi-type buffalo produce 1000-3000kg and swamp-type buffalo are 600kg. Pakistan has 26.3 million buffalo produce meat and milk.

Buffalo species need care and attention for increased production potential. Insufficient research has been done on this species, and information regarding the production of milk and meat is scarce.

Why Buffalo is called the Black Gold of Pakistan?

Buffalo produces 68% of the milk production in the country. Buffalo is considered a preferred milk species due to its high fat content. Due to their versatility in the amount of milk and meat buffaloes are rightly known as the Black Gold of Pakistan.

Nutritional value of Buffalo

Buffaloes play a vital role in fulfilling humans’ protein requirements by producing milk and meat. It also has significant value by providing traction power in agriculture. Pakistani buffalo breeds are considered the most desirable in the world.

However, due to mismanagement, we are not getting maximum production according to their potential. There is room to improve the production performance.

Agriculture is considered an essential human food source like milk and meat. And it plays a leading role in the national economy. Being an agricultural country Pakistan needs more care and attention to its production potential.

According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan (2005), Pakistan’s livestock contributes 46.0 % and 10.6% to GDP. In rural areas, 30 to 35 million people earn 40% of their income from livestock.

Pakistan produces milk of 29.472 million tonnes along with approximately 1.115 million tonnes of beef and 0.74 million tonnes of mutton.

In rural Pakistan possession of buffalo typically determines farmers’ wealth and status in society. Buffalo farming subsists for the rural poor.

Although awareness of buffalo farming for dairy purposes is increasing, milk production is not sufficient for desired needs. A major reason for this shortening is that milk production has increased less than population growth.

Reasons for less dairy production

Production per animal is very low because of

  • unorganized marketing
  • low genetic potential
  • high disease incidence
  • Traditional farming patterns
  • shortage of feed and fodder

Buffalo Breeds in Pakistan

Pakistan is considered so fortunate to have the best buffalo breeds in the world for milk production. There are five Buffalo breeds in Pakistan

  • Nili
  • Ravi
  • Nili-Ravi
  • Kundi
  • Azi-Kheli (or Azakheli)

Nili Ravi Buffalo:

Nili Ravi is famous in the country and worldwide due to its excellent milk production quality. Due to this, it is known as Pakistan’s Black Gold.

  • Nili and Ravi’s breed was crossbred to produce a single breed of Nili and Ravi.
  • Nili Ravi Breed is imported by various countries due to its excellent dairy characteristics.
  • This breed is called Punjkalian due to its body markings. Its body is black but has white markings on the body.
  • Males of this breed attain maturity at 30 months while females attain maturity at 36 months.
  • A male has a body weight of 550-650 kg. Female body weight is 350-450 kg.
  • Milk contains 6.5% fat.
  • Its home tract region includes the area between Sutlej and Ravi.


  • The Kundi Breed has a home track in Sindh. Kashmore to Shah Bandar, which are along the Indus River, comprise the area.
  • The Kundi breed has a jet black body. It has a broad forehead, short neck, and short horns. Ears are medium size.
  • The horns of this breed are hook-shaped, hence their name ‘Kundi’
  • Males of this breed mature at 30 months while females mature at 36 months.
  • The Kundi breed lactates for 320 days.
  • Milkfat of this breed is 6%
  • Males weigh 500-600kg and of females, the average body weight is about 300-400kg.
BreedTypeHome TractColorBody Measurement { cm}Average WeightAverage Milk



{305 days}

    HeightLengthAt BirthAt Maturity 
KundiMilchDadu, Larkana,


Hyderabad, Sanghar

Karachi, Thatta,

Nawabshah, Sindh









With 6.5 %Fat

Nili RaviMilchLahore, Sahiwal,



Faislabad, Multan,

Punjab Province.





6.5% Fat


  • The home track of this breed is Swat Valley.
  • This breed has color variations from albino to piebald. Its body is black.
  • The name of this breed is based on a local tribe called Aziz Khell.
  • Young animals have brown hair which becomes sparse in adulthood.
  • The tail of this breed is short and slender in shape.
  • This breed weighs 350-450 kg.
  • These are docile buffaloes
  • Milk production is about 1800 liters per lactation.

Benefits of Buffaloes

Milk production

Through proper breeding and feeding Pakistani buffalo produce milk of about 5000 liters per lactation. The Nili Ravi breed has more potential for milk production than the Kundi breed. This is because the Nili Ravi matures at an early age compared to the Kundi breed. In addition, it has shorter calving intervals and shorter dry periods than the Kundi breed. That’s why the Nili Ravi breed is considered the highest-quality breed at the national and international levels.

Draught power

Female buffaloes are used in Pakistan for milk and male buffaloes for work like pulling carts and plowing fields. However male buffaloes are not able to work in hot summers because they are sluggish. On the contrary, they can work well as bullocks in winter. And can pull loads on a cart like bullocks. This is commonly practiced in Punjab and the NWFP.

Products of Horns

A variety of decorative products can be produced by processing horns, such as combs, buttons, forks, napkin rings, knife handles, etc.

Use of Hides

Buffalo hides are used at export levels and in local industry to make leather which is considered an essential for the national economy. Pakistan is considered the most renowned and largest hide producer.

  • Feces of Buffaloes

The feces of buffaloes are a good source of organic fertilizer

  • Hairs of Buffaloes

Hairs of buffalo are used for making brushes because they are thick.

Problems in Dairy Production

  • Due to malpractices, buffaloes lose milk production potential.
  • Different medicines to increase milk production result in infertile buffaloes. This causes the slaughter of elite buffaloes.
  • The disease of mastitis also results in lower milk productivity. This species has longer teats and sits in dirty places causing mastitis.
  • The artificial growth rate in the buffalo population is the purpose of illegal selling to other countries.
  • Silent heat in buffaloes causes infertility.
  • The lack of feed and fodder lowers production.
  • Adaptation of traditional farming techniques results in low milk production.

Suggestions to Improve Production Potential

Artificial insemination services to increase production potential

  • Systematic milk recording is a prerequisite to evaluation and testing of progeny.
  • In order to minimize low productivity, the following suggestions should be considered. Biometric techniques should be used to determine genetic parameters.
  • Made through artificial insemination services.
  • Milk recording should be done cooperatively by the Dairy Herd Association.
  • In the dairy industry, quality sires and progeny should be tested, and awareness programs should be implemented.
  • Artificial insemination services should be improved to eliminate infertility and increase awareness about semen storage.
  • Different diseases should be vaccinated at the appropriate time to reduce the risk of contagious abortions, which are very common in Pakistan.
  • To increase buffalo production, farmers should be introduced to a variety of fodder. Except for traditional feeding patterns, urea and molasses along with roughage should be included as fodder.
  • New milk processing and packaging technology should be established in the country.


Buffalo farming is a type of livestock farming that involves raising water buffalo for meat, milk, and labor. Buffalo are large, strong animals well-suited to hot and humid climates. They are also relatively resistant to disease and parasites. Buffalo farming can be a profitable business, but it is imperative to have a comprehensive understanding of the animals and the industry before starting.

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