Carabao: The Beast of Burden
By Henrylito D. Tacio
Madrid Agribusiness Digest
After the tamaraw, what animal is most likely to make it to the country’s threatened list?
The carabao, that’s what. The Filipino’s beast of burden, forced out from the farm by mechanized farming, is now being pushed to extinction. Although there are no current records available from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, the carabao’s total population is steadily declining..
“Unless we do something now, we might wake up one day an agricultural country without carabao to speak of,” warns a farming expert.
The Philippine carabao is one of the many breeds of the water buffalo, sometimes known as an “Asian animal” since the region is home to some 95 percent of the world’s stock. The buffalo was first domesticated about 4,500 years ago, in China or the Indus Valley – perhaps at the same time – and “buffalo culture” spread gradually throughout Asia.
There are two types of water buffaloes: The river type and the swamp type. The river type is exemplified by the Indian and sub-continent breeds. It considered under the dairy category because it possesses high genetic capacity for milk production.