In general, the number of buffaloesin South East Asian countries is decreased remarkably due to different factors such as increasing demand for buffalo meat due to human population growth, mechanization for land preparation, and inappropriate slaughtering.
This paper describes the past, present and future trends of buffalo in the Lao PDR. The lowland farming systems are in transition and there is not much place for traditional buffalo raising methods like free range systems. The farmers are not ready for such relatively fast changes in agriculture. Irrigation and mechanization lead to the change of the role of buffalo as a source of draught power to become the animals for meat. The buffalo herd composition is also changed according to this transition.
There is a tendency that the number of the buffalo will increase in the upland areas. But this increase has limitations and should not over-exploit the natural resources. At the same time, the buffalo production in the lowlands should be encouraged and promoted to retain the traditional nutrient flow.
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