The aim of the study was to identify the breeding goals, derive the relative goal values (RGV), and develop selection index (SI) for buffalo in Egypt. A structured questionnaire survey of milk-producing buffalo holders in 10 Egyptian governorates was carried out to collect data. The total number of surveyed holders was 1797. Buffalo holders were asked to identify the breeding goal groups (BGG). Breeding goal groups were ranked, according to relative importance to farmers, in descending order. The breeding goal traits (BGT) within each BGG were chosen and ranked in descending order. The survey results reflected the importance of milk production traits as the main breeding goal. Traits of milk yield and fat yield were given the greatest attention. In order to estimate the relative goal values (RGV), the subjective determination procedure was used. A principal component analysis (PCA) followed by cluster analysis (CA) of the principal components were performed. The CA led to the identification of three farmer clusters. Six selection indices were proposed from the PCA. The indices yielded different precision with a maximum of 93% of the holder's preferences variability. The current study revealed that subjective method could be used to identify the RGV. Further studies are needed particularly those related to the production system. Also, measurements of market data and consumers requests and their influence on the selected traits are badly needed.
Keywords: Breeding goals; Buffalo; Relative goal values; Selection index.