BHAWANIPATNA:Kalahandi breed of indigenous buffalo having distinct genetic and phenotypic potentialities is on the verge of extinction due to cross-breeding and adoption of foreign varieties. As per reports, there were 14 natural breeds of buffaloes in the country. Of this, there were two breeds — Kalahandi and Chilika — in Odisha. But now the original Kalahandi breed is facing an existential threat under the onslaught of cross-breeding with Murrah buffalo via artificial insemination.
A Rs 2-crore project was undertaken to conserve the Kalahandi breed of buffalo and farmers were encouraged to maintain purity of the indigenous breed. In 2016-17, Kalahandi Buffalo Producers’ Society comprising 17 farmers was formed to improve germ plasma of native breeds by OLRDS. Though Rs 35 lakh has been released to the office of Chief District Veterinary Officer, Kalahandi, in 2017-18, the action plan for implementation of the project is yet to be approved at the state level.