Buffalo are farmed across all states of Australia for livestock, meat and milk. The AgriFutures Buffalo Program aims to direct research, development and extension (RD&E) that contributes to the profitability, sustainability and productivity of this Australian industry.

About the industry

The AgriFutures Buffalo Program has focused on addressing issues associated with uncertainty of supply and on live export markets and processing to meet halal markets, both domestically and in the international supply chain. Future RD&E is likely to include competitiveness, production standards to meet consumer demand, sustainability and market demand for Australian buffalo in overseas markets.

Water buffalo were introduced to Australia throughout the 1800s from Indonesia, initially as draught animals and to provide meat for new settlements in the Northern Territory. The large free-range population of buffalo endemic to northern Australia in modern times is the result of escaped or abandoned animals from the original outposts.

Buffalo meat is recognised for its leanness and low cholesterol content. Buffalo milk is used to produce high quality mozzarella cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products. Demand for buffalo livestock is growing, as is consumer demand for buffalo meat and milk.


The AgriFutures Buffalo Program is funded by the buffalo export charge of $4.60 per head and the R&D component of the buffalo slaughter levy of $4.60 per head which is paid by industry participants. In the past three years, approximately 90 per cent of the levy comes from the buffalo export charge component.

Download latest income and expenditure statement

AgriFutures Australia receives the research and development (R&D) levy allocation to invest in line with the industry objectives of the Program’s Strategic RD&E Plan. The Levy is collected and distributed via the Department of Agriculture. For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment website.

AgriFutures Australia also receives Commonwealth matching funding based on 0.5% of the aggregate GVP of all AgriFutures Australia’s levied industries (Arena 3) or half of AgriFutures Australia’s eligible expenditure – whichever is the lesser. This includes expenditure in non-levied industries Arenas 1, 2 and 4 irrespective of their funding source.

AgriFutures Australia’s Board allocates the Commonwealth matching funding to each levied industry program. The respective programs will receive 50c per dollar of eligible expenditure (subject to availability of Commonwealth matching funding).

The total program budget comprises of the R&D levy allocation, Commonwealth matching funding (allocated by the AgriFutures Australia Board) and third party contributions (where appropriate).


John Smith

General Manager, Research


Related Publications


AgriFutures Buffalo Program Strategic RD&E Plan (2021-2025)


Developing Appropriate Stunning Methods for Halal Slaughter of Water Buffalo


Parasitism and control strategies in domesticated buffalo populations of Australia


Project summary: Parasitism and control strategies in domesticated buffalo populations of Australia

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Bringing back the buff: 5 things you need to know about buffalo

In recognition of AgriFutures Australia’s longstanding involvement in the buffalo industry, we bring to you the latest industry highlights including project updates, unique industry insights and growth potential.