Where the Buffalos Roam: Cuba

At the Sixth Symposium on Buffalos of the Americas, which took place last week Havana’s Hotel Nacional, Cuban Deputy Minister of Agriculture Jesús García Piloto affirmed in Havana that Cuba is boosting buffalo rearing as a way to increase milk and meat production.

García told the press that buffalos show high adaptability to the Cuban climate and its rearing contributes to achieving national balance. He noted that dairy farms in Cuba have obtained up to six litters of milk per animal, which represents a positive figure taking into account the existing conditions for feeding and rearing this species. García Piloto announced in the coming years the number of buffalos should increase as a result of a national program aiming at meeting the increasing needs of the country and substituting imports.

The president of the organizing committee of the event, Alina Mitad, pointed out during a lecture that nowadays there are more than 67,200 buffalos in Cuba, with a growth rate of 13 per cent during 2001-2009. According to some data form the Ministry of Agriculture, last year the country produced 3,275 tons of meat and 77,800 litters of buffalo milk.

Buffalos have high birth and life expectancy rates; they are very resistant to diseases; and make a better use of natural foods.

For full article, see http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8270:cuba-boosts-buffalo-rearing-says-agriculture-deputy-minister&catid=2:cuba&Itemid=14

Photo and article on the drawbacks of buffalos in Cuba, see http://en.mercopress.com/2009/06/04/buffaloes-introduced-in-cuba-have-become-a-threat-for-crops

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