( dpa )- Rice farmers in Thailand's Chon Buri province are reverting to using water buffaloes to plow their paddy fields in the face of sky-rocketing fuel prices, The Nation newspaper reported Tuesday.
"Water buffaloes are more economical," said Charan Charan-chotechuang , a rice farmer who has gone back to the ancient way of plowing his field. "No petrol is needed and they can be fed with natural grasses."
Charoen Pokphand Group, Thailand's largest agro-industrial conglomerate, is reportedly helping to distribute buffaloes to farmers in Chin Buri , a province neighbouring Bangkok.
Thailand's water buffalo population has dropped from 2.29 million in 1997 to 1.35 million in 2006, as rice farmers shifted away from the traditional means of plowing their fields to less temperamental tractors.