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Role of Buffalo Production in Sustainable Development of Rural Regions

Soliman, Ibrahim (2018): Role of Buffalo Production in Sustainable Development of Rural Regions. Published in: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Aspects of Euro-Mediteranean Business CooperationPublisher: © Springer International Publishing 2018. (April 2018)

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The Role of Buffalo production in Sustainable Development of Rural Regions A case study from Egyptian Agriculture V2.pdf

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Rice is the main summer crop in Egypt. It is a cash exportable crop that provides a main source of income to the Egyptian farmers and the national econ- omy. However, the farmers used to burn the rice straw at the farm borders and violate the law that forbids such action, which causes socio-economic negative externalities due to the generated smoke from burning. The smoke generated from burning is straw produced as byproduct of cultivated around 0.75 million ha of rice crop in Egypt, causes social costs due to the probability of premature-mortality and morbidity of rural and urban individuals and livestock. To conduct an economic assessment of such negative externalities a field research was conducted. A targeted ration of chopped rice-straw mixed with dissolved urea and molasses at 2% and 3% of weight, respectively, was fed to buffalo-feeder calves for meat production at 40% of the S.E. of the daily ration with a concentrate feed mix of 60% S.E. Such ration was compared with a control ration of dray chopped rice straw with the same proportion of concentrate feed mix. Two feed-response models were estimated for comparison of the two rations on the growth of the buffalo feeder calves for meat production. The Cobb-Douglas response function was the best fitted form according to the economic logic, significance of estimated parameters and the magnitude of R-2. The study derived the production elasticity, marginal daily gain, the value of marginal product from both estimated feed response functions. The economic marketing weight that maximizes the gross margin above the feed costs was esti- mated under the response model of treat rice straw feeding plan (targeted ration). It reached around 518 Kg live weight, while under the control ration it was only around 384 Kg. The larger market weight of treated rice straw ration was due to higher production elasticity, faster marginal daily gain, better marginal feed con- version and higher palatability of the ration than the control one. Egypt imports of red meat reached about 600 million dollars, due to lack of sufficient feed supply that constrained expansion in red meat production. Therefore, providing treated rice straw feed would provide additional source of livestock feeds which would provide additional 80,000 tons’ carcass weight from fed buffalo calves, which currently are slaughtered as rearing veal calves (60-80 days old). The estimated income gener- ated from one buffalo fed calves reached 50% of the average annual per capita income in Egypt. Such program would also stop the social costs stems from probable premature death and/or morbidity of human and livestock when burning rice straw. The study presented a proposed institutional program to introduce such technology into Egyptian agricultural sector.

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