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Buffalo in the World: Situation and Perspectives

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Biotechnological Applications in Buffalo Research

Abstract

The increasing of world population, which is expected to reach more than nine billion people in 2050, urbanization, and the growing concern about the environmental impact of animal farming, need a long-term global strategy for more sustainable ruminant production. Human requirements of high nutritional value proteins could be reached by milk and meat product coming from buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). Thus, this species, represented by more than 204 million head in the world, plays a strategical role for economy and society. The main features for buffalo being so utilized are its high capacity to convert fiber into energy and to adapt in areas with hot-humid climate where other ruminants cannot thrive. Moreover, it contributes to the sustenance of populations living in rural areas. The future of livestock production systems is closely related to sustainability, welfare, and quality of products. The application of new technologies will play a pivotal role in animal management, also for the buffalo. Genetic selection will have to focus on animal health and welfare improvement, increase tolerance to stressors, reduce livestock environmental impact and produce milk and meat of higher nutritional quality both selecting cosmopolitan breeds, and valorizing local breeds and their genes. Local breeds, the most adapted to low-input production systems and to a range of environments, can produce food with unique properties and can preserve cultural and social values. In this chapter, buffalo livestock systems and world perspectives for its exploitation will be examined.

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Borghese, A., Chiariotti, A., Barile, V.L. (2022). Buffalo in the World: Situation and Perspectives. In: Chauhan, M.S., Selokar, N. (eds) Biotechnological Applications in Buffalo Research. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-7531-7_1

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