A Venezuelan firm has imported 103 water buffalo from Guatemala to start up a mozzarella cheese operation in southern Costa Rica.
Workers at the ranch, located in La Esperanza in Pérez Zeledón, will raise and milk the animals to produce mozzarella, a cheese that was first made in Italy from the rich milk of water buffalos, and which has become a staple for pizza.
Venezuelan company Inversiones Megabo brought the first batch of 100 females and three males to start a business expected to produce 400 kilos of cheese a day, the daily La Nación reported. The company will cater to the Costa Rican market, particularly the tourism industry, where there’s a demand for quality cheeses.
Water buffalos are members of the bovine subfamily, prominent in Asia and South America. They’re used not only for producing milk, but are also used throughout the developing world as work animals.
Female water buffalos can produce milk for as long as 20 years, while cows generally produce milk for only about eight years.
The company plans to import another 142 animals into Costa Rica in the near future, and also plans to sell buffalo meat.