Learning to love nature is an important topic in Khunkha Magazine, with the hope to encourage kids to connect with and love the natural world.
All the stories about Nature-loving were written by “Mr. Red Ant”. The content inside is not only about the beauty of nature, but also the awareness and concern for the environment.
My Best Friend, “Jao Thuy” is the first story that Mr. Red Ant proudly presents here.
Thai buffaloes, like “Jao Thuy”, have been the backbone of our country for centuries because they are the ideal animals used to plow the paddy rice fields to produce Thai rice, the most important part of meal in Thailand.
In the past we used to have more than six million buffaloes but nowadays the population decreases to less than a million.
There are two types of buffaloes in Asia, the river buffalo, which is raised for milk production, and the swamp buffalo.
“Jao Thuy” is a swamp buffalo, used to play an importance role in paddy rice cultivation. His happy time is while hanging out in the muddy water and wallowing the mud in the afternoon heat after work.
Since 1960s Thai buffaloes have been replaced by “mechanical buffalo” aka “iron buffalo” and “Tractor”. Many farmers turned to use mechanical plowing. They had the feeling that using “Jao Thuy” was old-fashioned while “iron buffalo” was more efficient and needed less labor.
As a matter of fact, not only the convenience we should consider, but we should also calculate the cost-efficiency, the more convenience the higher cost in gas consumption that depending on the oil price. Furthermore, using more mechanical plowing can cause more pollution.
Later, some farmers started to return back to their buffaloes, like my best friend “Jao Thuy”.
Actually raising Thai buffaloes does not cost much. They have pure vegetarian diet such as straw, dried grass, and some palatable weeds.
Their dung can be used as an effective fertilizer when dried. So there is no need to buy and use chemical fertilizer, meaning less cost and more environment protection.
When more Thai farmers turn back to use the labor from Thai buffaloes, they not only get more income for themselves but they also help conserve Thai buffaloes.
To view full picture in PDF please click the link My Best Friend, "Jao Thuy"