8th Buffalo Symposium of the Americas and Europe

Antigua, Guatemala – 17, 18, 19 and 20 of November 2015

Jorge Fabio García Molina

The buffalo association of Guatemala ASOBUFALOS, sponsored the VIII Symposium for buffalo breeders of the Americas and Europe. The symposium brings together professionals from around the world to communicate knowledge in the field of buffalo breeders. Settled as a main objective for this symposium, providing feedback of the buffalo management as a working animal in palm oil plantations and as specific objectives, learn about the current situation of the production systems of the Buffalo in Latin America, the importance and application of the traceability of the buffalo herd in our midst and provide feedback on basis of immunoprophylaxis through application and use of the correct and essential medicines for diseases.

The Symposium took place in Hotel Camino Real, La Antigua Guatemala, from the 15 to 20 of November 2015, it started with a Pre event, event and ended with a buffalo Tour. An average of 30 participants from of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala attended to the symposium.

The activities started on Tuesday, November17 with the welcome reception. First, the engineer Oscar Molina, on behalf of ASOBUFALOS, welcomed the participants and explained the purpose of the activity was to establish the union of the buffalo guild in the country, likewise, the methodology to be followed. Then the Presidents of the buffalo associations of Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica, expressed their satisfaction at the realization at this Symposium and advanced new scenarios presented by the buffalo breeders in the world and their modernization processes, in addition, in these processes of association will achieved significant progress in producing Buffalo. They made it clear that is not intended to find solutions for this meeting, but rather, to ensure a mutual understanding of the participants, exchange experiences among them designing a plan to continue this work in the future. Oscar Molina, thanked the participants the effort to carry out this important activity, highlighting the national company Agro Industrias S. A. by sending their representative and invited him to make his presentation on behalf the company which carries out its work of handling and maintenance of Buffalo with triple purpose.

Finally, they started with the presentation of very important topics for the production and management of buffaloes in the region of Guatemala, these topics of much relevance the Enterprise NAISA, which uses to the livestock in work, such as transport activities of Palm oil fruit.

The symposium was developed in four plenaries of which six topics were of great importance to the management plans and introduction to the company, these were conducted the day 17, 18 and 19 of November 23 2015. In addition, on November 20, 2015 was a Buffalo Farm Tour: Las Palmas and Rama Blanca. The following topics were in accordance with the system of management in our company.

1st plenary session

“Current situation of the Buffalo production systems”

It took place on November 17, 2015 at 14:30 hours, the moderator was Cristina Sandoval and as speaker the medical veterinary Mexican Dr. Dora Romero Salas. She explained the introduction and production of the water buffalo to Latin America, mainly in Guatemala and Mexico. The Buffalo, for being a bovine domestic, docile, quiet temperament, sensitive, intelligent, reserved, nocturnal, semi-aquatic, rustic, long-lived and resistant to various diseases. Its rusticity allows this species to adapt more easily to environmental conditions common in our area, even where the cattle do not thrive.

Also by their adaptability has been an increase in our country in tropical and subtropical areas. in 1895 was the first buffalo entry into Latin America, Guatemala entered coming from Trinidad and Tobago during the Government of General Fernando Romeo Lucas García in the years 1978 to 1982. They are currently distributed in the southwest and northeast of Guatemala, the current inventory is unknown, zootechnical management varies according to the production system that takes place on farms.

“Importance of traceability”

It took place on 17 of November 2015 at 16:00 hours, moderated by Cristina Sandoval and as speaker the engineer Ever A. Hernández, Regional Coordinator of traceability in Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Dominican Republic. He explained that traceability is the ability to find and follow the trail, through all stages of production, processing and distribution of an animal intended for the production. Identification and traceability according to the world Organization for Animal Health (OIE) are tools aimed at improving animal health (including zoonoses). Bovine animals, are known for ruminant mammals, classified within the family Bovidae. The regional standard makes reference in this definition to the genera Bos (Taurus and Indicus) and the genus Bubalus (Buffalo).

“Feeding Buffalos with tropical grasses”

It took place on November 17, 2015 at 17:00 hours, acted as moderator Cristina Sandoval and as speaker the engineer agronomist Ovidio Perez Beltran representative and distributor for Central America of Marangatu grass seeds. He illustrated on the introduction and establishment of pastures for cattle and buffalo. He explained that the establishment of pastures will depend on many factors among which we can find the original vegetation, the topography of the area, type of declivity, the quality of the land, resource drainage and fertility. This determines the forage species that will be defined, method of preparation and planting, mainly its cost/benefit ratio.

2nd plenary session

“Entrepreneurship and sustainability of a buffalo herd”

This plenary was on November 18, 2015 at 13:30 hours, moderated by Cristina Sandoval and as speaker the medical veterinarian Brasileiro Doctor Claudio Bruna, President of 24 the Association of Brazil. He explained that it seeks to stimulate reflection on innovative conceptual frameworks. However, the livestock is one of the main agricultural products in many Central American countries, but which have been eroded as a model of productive development. In addition, the analysis of sustainability will be covered the multiple variables that affect livestock and their consequences and environmental impact.

“The Buffalo as a working Animal in the African Palm plantations, rubber and coffee”

This plenary was on November 18, 2015 at 18:00 hours, moderated by Cristina Sandoval and as speaker the engineer Hugo Vélez. Where he showed the importance of the introduction of the domesticated Buffalo to different areas and activities of labour, transport and loading. He emphasized in the process that takes from weaning until the introduction as a working animal, the nutritional, health and maintenance are the main elements of management that should never miss in the production of a livestock herd, this case with the buffaloes.

3rd plenary session

“Foundations of immunoprophylaxis for buffalo herds”

This plenary was on November 19, 2015 at 11:00, moderated by Cristina Sandoval and as speaker doctor veterinarian Adolfo Kopp. Speaking of the importance of sanitary controls in cattle herds in the area, essentially pointing: Peten has become a very important livestock area for the country, since it focused a significant amount of the national cattle herd, especially for farmers in the area, who for reasons of border with two countries (Belize and Mexico), are affected by the import of cattle without the respective sanitary controls. Our country has been characterized for the non effective epidemiological and quarantine disease measures, for this reason many diseases have entered and spread without taking the appropriate measures for the control and eradication.

Closing plenary

“Visit to Finca Las Palmas”

It took place on November 20, 2015 to 07:00 hours, directed by the engineer Oscar Molina and the degree in animal husbandry Sucel Molina. The visit consisted in a verbal illustration of the company Las Palmas process plant, then a tour of the facilities. Also, a visit to the soap factory, to observe the production and packaging process of soap. In addition, a visit to the palm oil plantations to observe the handling that occurs in fruit-picking and maintenance of the herd of buffaloes, in this area was a demonstration of the process and importance that wastes from fertilizers, chemicals and others do.

“Visit to Finca Rama Blanca”

Transfer was made on November 20, 2015 at 13:30 hours towards Finca Rama Blanca, visit directed by the engineer Oscar Molina and Sucel Molina. After enjoying a delicious lunch with Buffalo meat, we visit the area where buffalo had the application of ear rings and chip suggested by the bovine traceability program. Then, was the area of processing of dairy, where the buffalo milk is processed with high standards of safety into dairy and its derivatives.


The Association of Buffalo breeders of Guatemala ASOBUFALOS, through its speakers reiterated on the bibliographic review of buffalos, since its origin, distribution, 25 Zoological classification, types, breeds with their characteristics, systems exploitation, management, power, digestive system, reproduction efficiency, anatomical differences, production of milk, meat, work and general aspects. The Association of Buffalo breeders of Guatemala ASOBUFALOS promoted the Symposium in order to meet with together and associate producers and breeders of Buffalo in Guatemala. The association and information to the staff, about new technologies are part of the tools that are necessary to use in agricultural operations and livestock, in order to maintain a level of efficient and competitive production. Formation and training programs, are essential to generate an awareness of mutual understanding, cooperation and assistance between sectors. However, training activities have been limited.

The company incorporates as an active member to the Association of buffalo breeders of Guatemala ASOBUFALOS, this will bring important benefits in the achievements of animal production. Proceed with the bovine traceability program, to have a better control of the incidences of disease area and provenance of the animals purchased for its integration into the harvest area. The association promotes the reproductive and productive management of buffalos heard, from it depend the production of dairy products (milk, cream and cheese to the internal dining rooms), breeding stock (replacements for the herd and sale of buffalos to other holdings).