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  • National Workshop on Buffalo Production – Samarinda (East Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia), June 21-22, 2011

National Workshop on Buffalo Production – Samarinda (East Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia), June 21-22, 2011

Antonio Borghese
International Buffalo Federation

“Buffalo Breeding Development through the use of its adaptability in supporting  National Beef Self-sufficiency”

The Workshop was open by Dr. Ir. H. Ibrahim, Head of Livestock Services, Provincial Government of East Kalimantan, by Dr. Abubakar, General Director for Livestock and Animal production of Agricultural Ministry and by Dr. Bess Tiesnamurti, Director of ICARD (Indonesian Center for Animal Research and Development).
Prof. Antonio Borghese thanked the Authorities and Dr. Chalid Talib for the kind invitation and presented the invited lecture on “Buffalo Breeding Development in Italy” speaking about the criteria in buffalo breeding, selection and genetic improvement in Italy, where the priority is the increase of mozzarella cheese production, about management and nutrition schemes, reproduction technologies and buffalo products and market. Dr. Chalid Talib presented two lectures, the first with Bess Tiesnamurti.


Buffalo has a large enough role for rural communities and also nationally. Unfortunately the preservation of the traditional buffalo and advanced technologies developed through research are very low which is applied in rearing buffaloes. In the other side buffalo targeted as one of the main supporters for meat self-sufficiency of beef  since buffalo entered into a program that previously was the PSDS (Program of Self Sufficiency for Beef) to PSDSK (Self Sufficiency Program for Beef and  Buffalo). National buffalo population is currently estimated to total about- 2 million, which spread across various Indonesia Agro-eco-system, level of density which is also different. At present per capita consumption of beef and buffalo meat has only reached about 7kg per capita per year with a target of achieving the national consumption of 10.1 kg / capita / year. Meanwhile PSDSK program that is expected to meet target of consumption in the year 2014, experienced the first test of cessation of live sheep exports by the Government of Australia for at least 6 months in the current year 2011. That is until December 2011 there will be no imports of live cattle from Australia that directly means that the buffalo’s role will be even greater in subsequent years associated with PSDSK.

So, to get target of self sufficiency program in meat have to be based on current conditions, Indonesia has only one option that is based on local resources owned. Therefore, efforts to accelerate the increase in population and productivity of individuals and local buffalo population as a meat-producing livestock should be done more intensively. Improved productivity is focused mainly to produce high meat production per unit of livestock and increase in population. The two targets for improvement can be achieved through a variety of applications applied technology innovations include feed technology, management, reproduction and breeding. Feed technology focused on feed formulation that meets the standards of buffalo production in accordance with physiological and functional status based on local feed resources. Improved management intended to implement changes to buffalo traditional system without the intervention of technology to the open acceptance of technological innovation and increasing the amount of business scale. Improvements aimed at improving reproductive efficiency  through the regulation of marriage and the detection system to accurately synchronize estrous which ended with breeding that produced the maximum number of gestation. While the technology is aimed at the selection and breeding stud formation and their use to minimize the marriage in the family system and suppress the level of inbreeding within the group and together with the application of cattle feed and management technologies to build superior INDONESIA elite buffalo herd.

The second lecture of Dr. Chalid Talib was:


Indonesia has a buffalo population of about 2 million head in 2010. The spread of buffalo distributed in the wide area on many islands, accompanied by variations in the ability of adaptation to different ecosystems, agro-socio-culture, and farming system of the local areas. Closed mating system practiced by farmers in each of the islands caused by various things such as transportation and communication difficulties, lack of good bulls, and the minimize in knowledge of farmers as the owner, shortcomings and lack of attention of local government in the past. Regardless of caused of closed breeding system practices but the system carried out at least three main points.
First is the creation of animal groups that have a high specification adaptation ability in local environments ranging from lowland to highland, dry area until environmental swamps and rivers and cool temperatures until hot, and rainy season in areas throughout the year until the rainy season is only in 2 – 4 months per year with small number of rainfall.
Second is the creation of groups of buffalo with the content of a fairly high level of inbreeding which is characterized by the emergence of albino buffalo, horns come-down, low reproductive capacity and low meat production.
Third, is the target products consumed from buffaloes are for meat and for milk. Therefore, the implementation of the applied breeding program of buffalo in Indonesia needs all the capacity owned by local buffaloes, owned by Indonesia and supported by breeding and reproduction technologies and related technologies to create a system supporting the application of appropriate breeding program of buffalo for Indonesia. So buffalo breeding program should be focused on the Buffalo breeding Institute and related technologies utilizing resources of the agency producing technology i.e. Indonesian Center for Animal Research and Development and Universities as well as utilize the traditional knowledge of farmers. Thus Buffalo breeding Institute will be able to produce superior buffalo bulls to increase buffalo meat, dairy buffalo bulls to increase milk products (only in certain areas) and take advantage of buffalo proven bulls through sperm and embryos of the animals from Foreign Affairs to accelerate the improvement of Indonesian buffalo productivity. Application of out-crossing in the certain areas identified high levels of inbreeding using local males with thinking about environmental conditions and agro-ecosystems that are similar.

The day after a vivacious discussion was held about the possible goals of Indonesia to increase the milk and meat production capacity: as Prof. Borghese proposed the application of A.I. with Mediterranean Italian breed semen to increase rapidly in F1 the genetic value as milk producers in buffaloes, Dr. Libertado Cruz from Philippines too, as Director of the Carabao Center, showed the experience started in 1993 in his country in crossbreeding to increase the milk production in Swamp buffaloes.