Farmers and breeders in Mingora, the capital of Pakistan’s Swat district, held a buffalo beauty contest to promote the Azikheli breed.
This is the first time such an event has taken place in Pakistan and the significance of the contest was enhanced due to its prize pool – which was Rs. 75,000.
The contest was funded by USAID, American government’s civilian foreign aid agency, and was organised by International livestock Research Institute and Agriculture Innovative Programme (AIP).
Around 200 animals are part of a competition to find Pakistan’s most beautiful Azikheli buffalo
There were four categories for the competition which included beauty, milk production, bull and calf. Top six winners were awarded with cash prizes and livestock stuff along with certificates.
Laiq Badar, whose buffalo got first position in milk and beauty competition, could not contain his happiness and said:
I have 10 buffaloes of the same breed which are the source of our livelihood. Today, I am proud that my buffalo won the first prize.
Dr. Nadar Khan, one of the organisers of the event stated:
Unfortunately, little is known about Azekheli buffalo. It is called Azekheli as it found only in Azikhel area of Swat. It is red and white in color. It can produce up to 20 litres of milk a day. It can live in cold areas like Swat, Gilgit-Baltistan and Quetta.
The Azikheli buffalo has very specific adaptation of the hilly areas and cold weather. Unlike other breeds of buffaloes, it can survive in muddy and cold conditions. For the first time we collected data in Swat and found that 1,300 households keep Azikheli buffalo.
The experts claimed that there were many deserving winners but the one that actually won was not only beautiful but also “produced more milk and better meat”.