Even the harsh environments stressed for water and biomass, dependent on commons with low-input production systems, are not exempt. Performance of such breeds has been a serious concern in these programmes as any mortality and nonperformance can further increase debt burden of the poor. Also, the potential of nonrecognized local breeds well adapted to the scarcity cycles in dry land areas is not seriously explored. These are considered ‘nondescript’ and therefore, do not qualify for support in the government programmes. Located in this context, the chapter documents and analyses the performance of external Murrah buffaloes inducted into semiarid regions in Andhra Pradesh. The study also brings out the potential of various types or groups within the local breeds and presents their productivity traits.
Comparative analysis of performance of these groups of local buffaloes with that of inducted Murrah buffaloes brings out the potential of the local ‘nondescript’ buffaloes. In a situation where induction of external Murrah buffaloes leaves behind substantial debt burden and despair, results of the analysis make a case for recognizing the local breeds and for shifting the focus of livestock development and poverty programmes towards improving the fodder and feed resources in the commons and fallows, creating access to water and to improve management systems. A combination of such inputs along with selections from among the local breeds might be a better strategy for development of buffalo production systems in the semiarid regions.