Thai buffaloes trade ploughing for racing

A Thai farmer competes in the Water Buffalo Racing Festival in Chonburi province, Thailand, on July 16, 2017.
A Thai farmer competes in the Water Buffalo Racing Festival in Chonburi province, Thailand, on July 16, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

THAILAND (REUTERS) - Thai farmers in eastern Chonburi Province joined in the annual buffalo race with ploughs on Sunday (July 16) as part of a festival to conserve the buffalo ploughing tradition.

The race, which has long replaced the easy-going mammals' traditional job of preparing the soil of the paddy fields for decades, takes place during the farmers' break from planting season.

Farmers say most of the buffaloes nowadays are no longer raised to work on farm lands but to join in race competitions, some has never worked like their ancestors used to.

The buffaloes are more valuable now than ever. Their market value depends on their performances, starting at over US$2400 (S$3,281) each.

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