Knowledge of genetic parameters is essential for improved reproductive management and increased yield. Quantitative analysis of genetic parameters is lacking for many breeds of buffaloes. This article provides the first estimate of genetic parameters for dual purpose (meat and milk) Brazilian Jaffarabadi buffaloes, using Bayesian inference. Data on milk yield (MY), lactation length (LL), weight at 205 days (W205) and 365 (W365) days of age, and average daily gain (ADG) from 205 to 365 days of age were collected in two herds. Bivariate analyses (using the program MTGSAM) were performed with the Gibbs sampler to obtain estimates of variance and covariance. Average lactation milk yield and lactation length were 1 620.2 +/- 450.9 kg and 257.6 +/- 46.8 days, respectively, and the mean values for weight traits (kg) were 181.6 +/- 63.3 (W205), 298.04 +/- 116.1 (W365), and 0.73 +/- 0.35 (ADG). Heritability estimates (modes) were 0.16 for MY, 0.10 for LL, 0.43 for W205, 0.48 for W365 and 0.32 for ADG. There was a high genetic correlation (0.96) between milk yield and lactation length and very high genetic correlations (0.99) between the three growth traits. Our data suggest that both milk production and growth traits have clear potential for yield improvement through direct selection in this dual purpose breed. The selection for weight at an early age would be successful and selection for MY can be performed in the first lactation.