Thursday, 23 October 2008

Scientific presentation about "BUFFALO" in Germany

Recently, our friend Lok Nath Paudel (Ph.D. student at Goettingen University, Germany) presented his paper on a confrence organised at Bonn, Germany. As a well experienced person equipped with practical and scientific knowledge, his presentation caught the interest of many scientists. It is a proud moment for us that our friend has been successful in drawing the attention of world towards our country and its practical problems. Like joining one brick with another, the construction of beautiful house is possible, these kinds of scientific works, will certainly make our scientific floor wider and world renowned.
It was a conference on Animal Science jointly organized by the German Society for Animal Production e.V. (DGfZ) and German Society for Animal Science ev (GfT). It was a national conference where hundreds of students, researchers, scientists and professors had taken part from 29 institutes, 21 Universities of Germany.
The university of Bonn: On 18 October 1818 the King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm III, founded the University of Bonn which is now considered to be one of Germany's and indeed Europe's most important institutes of higher education. As home of learning to over 27,000 students, they enjoy an outstanding reputation both at home and abroad.
The topic and brief notes of his presentation are as follows: (I would like to request the audiences / readers to contact us for detailed tables and graphs, if needed).
" Seasonality in Buffalo Breeding: A Debatable Issue in Nepal" Lok Nath Paudel
1. Introduction

The domesticated or water buffaloes belong to the family Bovidae, subfamily Bovinae, genus Bubalus and species arnee (Bhat, 1999). These buffaloes can be classified into two main
categories, viz., (1) the swamp buffalo (chromosomes, 2n=48) and (2) the river buffalo (chromosomes, 2n=50). Though they belong to the same species, Bubalus bubalis, they have very different habits. They interbreed and produce fertile hybrid progeny. The disparity in chromosome numbers has not been explained so far (Banarjee, 2002). In recent years, the buffalo, commonly known an ‘Asian Animal’ has attracted global concern. In spite of the polyoestrous nature of breeding in buffaloes, reproductive efficiency varies thorough out the year (Barile, 1997). In Nepal, milk is at surplus during autumn to winter and lean during spring and summer. This is mainly because of the reproductive seasonality of buffaloes which has the direct role on the economic implications. Different authors/researchers have opined differently for the seasonality of buffalo breeding. The reasons so far found range from nature of species (Srivastava and Sahni, 1999) to availability of green forage and management; environmental characteristics of their place of origin (Zicarella, 1997) to photoperiodism. Since it is a debatable issue which is not clearly understood and only a few works had been carried out so far, present effort has been made to explore the situation and perception of the seasonality of buffaloes in Nepal.
2. Results and Discussion:
Out of the 107 farmers under the survey, 94.4% farmers opined that calving of buffaloes occurs during rainy season followed by winter (3.7%) and summer (1.9%). Out of the 30 key-informants under the study, 86.6% reported for the rainy season calving where as 6.7% reported for the winter and summer seasons each. These results agree with the results obtained on Surti buffaloes in Rajasthan, India where Sule et al., 2001 had reported that buffaloes calved all the year round but have a tendencyto calve more during rainy season (July to September). Reddy et al., 1999 had also reported that the conception rate ranged from 42 percent to 45 percent during August to November and from 29 percent to 33 percent during the months of February to April.
Eventhough the reasons of the seasonality have not yet been clearly understood, it may be possible that farmers would have been unable to fulfil the fodder requirements of buffalo because of less fodder availability during the summer and late winter (Shah et al., 1989). As far as the present study is concerned, four main possible reasons, viz., (1) unavailability of artificial insemination (A.I.) at village level, (2) breed character, (3) managerial factors including health care, heat detection, etc., and (4) unavailability of round the year green have been set to get the information on the reasons of seasonality of buffaloes in Nepal. The results obtained from the farmers revealed that unavailability of A.I. has the least effect on the seasonality of buffalo breeding in Nepal. It may be because of easily availability of buffalo bulls for the natural insemination in the villages. Farmers perceived the breed character of the buffaloes as the most important factor (73.8 percent farmers ranked it as the highest contributor) followed by managerial factors and unavailability of round the year green forage (table 2). The responses of key-informants (figure 1) have been found a little deviation from the responses of the farmers. Managerial factors were found as the highest factors ranked as 1 and 2 by the key-informants (76.7%) followed by breed character, unavailability of year round green forage and A.I., as 66.7, 56.6 and 3.3%, respectively.
The results obtained from this study on the reasons of seasonality are also in favour of the previous works carried out by some other workers in different countries. Vale et al., 1990 had found that the seasonality in buffalo could be due more to management factors and unavailability
of green forage round the year. However, some researchers like Di Palo et al., 1997 have emphasised that the reproductive seasonality in the buffaloes does not seem to depend on diet, food availability or metabolic status. They have claimed that climate and particularly photoperiod, depending on melatonin secretion, play a pivotal role for the seasonality of buffalo breeding. Melatonin, a hormone, secreted by the pineal gland during the night represents the endocrinal signal. Investigation on the role of melatonin was already carried out in Italy and suggested the positive relationship between the level of melatonin and the seasonal reproductive trend in buffaloes.
3. Conclusion
Because of the price variation of milk and its products during flush and lean seasons, seasonality in buffalo breeding has significant economic implications. Though it has been revealed that with the judicious management practices, such as timely heat detection and insemination, protection from thermal stress, provision of adequate and balanced ration, calving in buffalos could be evenly spread round the year, to a great extent, it is still a debatable issue in Nepal.

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