BANNI – Night Grazer Buffalo

Pashu Sandesh, 17 Nov 2022

Sonam Bhardwaj1 Dr Ragini Mishra2 and Dr Vikash Bhardwaj3

A breed of buffalo called the Banni, also referred to as the "Kutchi" or "Kundi," is most frequently found in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India. The term "Banni" refers specifically to both the native pasture grass species of this area as well as the buffaloes themselves. This particular breed of buffalo is typically bred and preserved by the "Maldharis," a local Kutchi community. A typical Banni buffalo produces 12 to 18 litres of milk per day.

Compared to more popular breeds, the Banni buffalo has a different genetic makeup that allows for longer lactation periods, greater milk production potentials, and disease resistance.  Maldharis now depend on it as their main source of income, and they are slowly becoming more well-known in other areas like Mumbai.   In contrast to other frequently encountered buffaloes like the "Murrah" and "Jaffarabadi," the Banni buffalo is well-adapted to survive extreme weather conditions like water scarcity, frequent droughts, low humidity, and high temperatures. The Banni buffalo breed survives in these challenging climatic conditions by feeding on the locally grown grasses that are readily available. They are also taught to go back to their particular communities by themselves in the morning.


The Sind province of Pakistan is where the Banni buffalo breed first appeared. What is now referred to as the Banni land, was given to the Maldhari community 500 years ago by the rulers of the Kutch district for livestock grazing. The Banni buffalo was recognised as the 11th buffalo breed in India by the Indian Breed Registration Committee, ICAR, New Delhi, in the year 2010. 


It has been established that the Banni buffalo is a unique breed thanks to genotyping work done by the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Research (NBAGR), Karnal, and Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University (SDAU).

The Banni buffalo is renowned for having a few unique traits. Their genetic potential for high milk production is one of these characteristics. The daily milk yield is 18 to 19 litres, and the average annual milk yield is 6000 litres. The pastoralists' creation of the cooperative society has allowed the breeders to sell the dairy industry more than 2,50,000 litres of milk every day for between Rs. 45 and Rs. 55. The price of this milk before the establishment of this cooperative ranged from Rs.15 to Rs.19 per litre. 

The Banni buffalo is renowned for its ability to graze at night. Herd sizes range from 40–50 animals to 90–200 animals, and they can travel a distance of 8–10 kilometres in the monsoon and 15 kilometres in the summer. After the second milking, the herds depart in the evening and arrive back in the morning. Despite the size of the herds and the animals that make up them, the buffaloes hardly ever get separated from or mixed in with another herd. They can avoid the sweltering sun and can adapt to temperature variations thanks to the way they graze at night. 

This breed's lactation lasts between 290 and 295 days and produces between 2500 and 2700 litres. In addition to this, buffalo are renowned for their hardiness and regular breeding.


Dr Sonam Bhardwaj1 (PhD Scholar- Division of Livestock Production and Management) 

Dr Ragini Mishra2 (PhD Scholar- Division of Veterinary Microbiology)

Dr Vikash Bhardwaj3 (M.VSc. Scholar-Division of Poultry Science)

ICAR-IVRI, and ICAR-CARI Izatnagar-243122, Bareilly (U.P.)