In Dagestan, for the first time, they started industrial breeding of buffaloes. In the near future, the entrepreneur intends to open a processing shop to start producing mozzarella.
The farm is located in the Babayurtovsky district. For more than 20 years, its leader Ahmed Gasanaliev has been raising cattle, sheep and horses. He brought buffaloes many years ago, but only now he decided to start breeding them on an industrial scale – there are about 250 heads on the farm.
The conditions for breeding buffaloes in Dagestan are quite favorable, says Sharip Sharipov, First Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Dagestan. And the territory for the buffalo farm was chosen well – near the Terek River, in a swampy area where a lot of reeds grow.
– Buffaloes are very unpretentious in food, they are happy to eat reeds and other roughage that cattle do not like. In Dagestan, there is enough reed. Also, these animals prefer swampy lands. There are many flies and midges that torment the cows, but the buffaloes do not feel them because of the thick skin. Animals tolerate heat and humidity well, can spend almost the whole day in the water. They do not need to be pastured, they themselves leave in search of food and return. Buffaloes, unlike other livestock, practically do not get sick. Their maintenance costs half as much, and they gain weight faster than cows,” Sharipov said.
In recent years, hordes of wolves have appeared in Dagestan, which, attacking livestock, cause a lot of trouble for farmers. Buffaloes are little threatened by such a restless neighborhood. They know how to defend themselves – they stand in a ring, drive the cubs inside and repel predators with their large horns.
But, according to Sharipov, this area of animal husbandry still has some specifics. Buffaloes are more difficult to milk, and farmers who are used to raising cows are reluctant to work with them.
– The meat yield of buffaloes is about 47 percent, while that of cows is up to 60. In Dagestan, people are used to lamb and beef, but it is very difficult to distinguish buffalo meat from beef by taste. The milk yield is less than that of cows, but the fat content of buffalo milk reaches nine percent, vitamins, calcium, protein and fat in it are much higher than in cow’s milk. Milk is ideal for making mozzarella and other types of cheese. The owners of the buffalo farm have no problems with the sale of meat and milk, in the near future they will start producing high-quality cheeses here,” Sharipov said.
According to Ahmed Gasanaliev, he plans to purchase equipment for processing buffalo milk. This raw material is ideal for making kefir, yogurt, ayran, cottage cheese, cheese.
– Cheeses made from it are especially appreciated, mozzarella is in great demand. In addition, we will produce semi-finished meat products,” the farmer added.
This year, the enterprise won a grant from the Russian Ministry of Agriculture for the development of agro-tourism, and the livestock breeder intends to stake on it. There are successful examples in Dagestan. In the Kazbekovsky district, on the territory of the reserve, there is a tourist and recreation complex “Almak”, where about one and a half thousand spotted deer live in natural conditions. Guest houses and a recreation area were opened here. Tourists can visit the petting zoo with spotted deer and other animals, ride horses. And in the Babayurt district, it will be possible not only to look at buffaloes, exotic for the region, but also to admire horses of the Akhal-Teke breed, watch how cows are milked, and play with grazing lambs.
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