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The Ultimate Choice or an Old Song with the New Drum?

I hereby to start a discussion about the selection of genetic resource for livelihood in the difficult ecosystems of the world. In my view, a true and durable sustainability of food production can be achieved with the tool of the local/native genetic resources embodied with the traditional knowledge. 

The Kharani camel in the Kharan desert
The best milk yielder in the deserted ecosystems

*Sustainability in true sense means ‘considering the hidden costs like water & carbon footprint along with the other environmental factors.

 Based on my experience and lifetime achievement, the native/local genetic resources are the only choice to ensure livelihood in a true sense of sustainability RESILIENCE OF NATIVE LIVESTOCK BREEDS TO CLIMATE CHANGE
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In the far and wide drylands of the world, local/native genetic resources are playing a pivotal role in sustaining livelihood in the difficult environments since unknown time. To me, the camel is one of the best choices among the best genetic resources.

Originally domesticated for food production, especially milk, the camel was later used for other purposes and the milk became the secondary product.

Good news, that camel is again turning towards its original task, the milk. Camel is no more the animal of the old world, but an animal which may be used to combat the growing desertification and to feed millions of people living in those regions. It has been shown that camels can provide 15-20 liters of milk per day for a lactation period of up to 18 months, making it a very good farm animal.

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Based on my personal experience of a camel farm for milk purpose, some camels can produce >12,000 kg milk per lactation (genetic potential) but the majority of population fall in >3,000 kg. The yield is sustainable in the true sense as camel consumes a lesser quantity of water/kg milk production. The same is true for the energy consumption as the camel doesn’t need weather comfort because of its special genes adapted to hostile weathers. 

Africa, the Climate Change Hot Spot

Studies conducted in the horn of Africa revealed that the camel produced more milk than the other types of tropical animals compared on the basis of kg/TLU/year. A wide part of the African continent is well familiar with the camel milk, and consider it the fluid of choice in all conditions. Camel Milk and Challenges of Modern Time; The Concept of Natural Health

Africa camel

The Treasure is Uncovered in Another Hot Spot

South Asia, especially dryland (Western India and a major part of Pakistan) are the worst affected by the climate change calamities. The great Thar Desert being the habitat of the world’s best milk camel is an uncovered treasure of the region. Badly neglected and hidden from the consideration of the policymakers. A Beautiful Camel Heritage is Sinking

The Camel Milk in Pakistan~An Example

Pakistan is home to 0.9 million camels with a 20% of lactating camel (herd composition) Livestock production and population census in Pakistan: Determining their relationship with agricultural GDP using econometric analysis. About 0.18 million camels give milk for a lactation (average 2,200 kg/lactation), producing around 396,000 ton of milk annually but had never been considered a documented food item in the grey records of the country. Per head basis camel in the country produces far better than the indigenous cattle/buffalo breeds, Frisian, and their crosses (in true measurement model).

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Conclusion

The time has reached to know and exploit the true potential of native genetic resources like camel and to find the ways to sustain livelihood (in the true sense) of the generations to come. I would appreciate a positive and healthy debate to be initiated regarding the food production in a truly sustainable model under the climate change scenario.

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A Beautiful Camel Heritage is Sinking

The centuries old rich camel heritage of Cholistan with the Marrecha tribe of camels is under threat.

IMG_0537A precious camel heritage of Marrecha in Cholistan desert is at risk. This brief study tells, how this beautiful culture is eroding because of the negligence of the policymakers. It is very crucial to involve the native livestock keepers in policies regarding research and development of the region but unfortunately, it is happening the otherwise. ♠♠♠♥♥

Where is the Cholistan Desert?

Having seen many deserts of the world, I’m quite sure that Cholistan desert is one of the most beautiful and living deserts of the world. No doubt, it is a desert but acts as a food bucket (animal origin) for the country since ages.  The commune of the Cholistan is called Rohila and the tribe rearing camel is called Marrecha. This cherished desert is situated in the South–West of Punjab province (Pakistan) and is spread over an area of 26,000 square kilometers. It is located between latitudes of 27° to 42° and 29°N and longitude of 57° to 60°E. The length of the desert is about 480 Km and breadth is from 32 to 192 Km.

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The map of the Cholistan desert

The Ecosystems and the Camel Adaptation

The Pakistani camel breeds are highly diversified at inter and intra breed basis Rapid change of strategy is necessary for development of dromedary camel pastoralism in the Cholistan desert of Pakistan and found in different ecological zones of the country. Each breed/type has its own uniqueness and usefulness based on the breeding goals of the relevant breeding community. Cholistani pastoralists (Rohila or Marreche) predominantly keep the highly adapted desert camel Marrecha (gets its name from Marrecha tribe). The Marrecha breeders have their own native wisdom and knowledge of conservation and management of animal genetic resources.

The Marrecha Camel

The Marrecha breeders have their own native wisdom and knowledge of conservation and management of animal genetic resources. The Marrecha commune living in the deep desert works as an institution, treasured with precious knowledge of the ecosystems, available natural resources, especially vegetation, biological and natural health, animal breeding and survival and resilience in climate change scenario.

 

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The caravan of Marrecha camels passing by the Killa Dirawar

 

The Marreche Institutions and the Camel Genetic Resources 

The Marreche breeders are color sensitive as in the other parts of the world. They only consider a camel Marrecha if it has coat color from sandy, blackish brown to light brown. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN. The pastoralists have a very clear stance on the breeds and the special traits which they use as their basic breeding goals.DSC04312.JPG

Marrecha herders’ top priority (breeding goal) is to produce pack camels for transportation of goods and families in the desert. They consider the hardiness, intelligence, and obedience as important but special traits for their camels. Along with the special traits, they use phenotypic traits as the markers of the genetic potential and adaptation to the deserted ecosystem.  These animals are lightly built, medium sized with a medium head which is carried on a lean long beautifully curved neck Dancing Marrecha Camel of Cholistan Pakistan.  Some of the phenotypic traits are listed below.DSC04311.JPG

  1. The flat and wide foot pad (walking ability in desert)
  2. The mouth is small with tight lips
  3. prominent round bright eyes, and narrow muzzle
  4. Long eyelashes and long hair on the ears and neck
  5. lean long beautifully curved neck covered with long hair
  6. small ear (Rabbit like) with dense air like brush
  7. The legs are thinner but strong, fine and well shaped
  8. the cylindrical body
  9. Medium head with a protruded nose
Marrecha camel

The Output Potential and the Worth of the Marrecha Camel

  • As a riding/packed Animal: Marrecha camels are fine, fast and gracious looking, so they are called the riding camels.  Marrecha can travel from 100 to 125 Km/ day at a high speed of 20-25 Km per hour. As a pack animal, it can transport 300 to 400 kg weight and can travel up to 50 km/day.
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  • As a Milk Animal: Milk production is the secondary job of the Marrecha camel. Because of its highly adapted nature, it produces milk in harsh conditions with high ambient temperatures and scarcity of feed and water. These characteristics of the Marrecha camel enable camel herders to live and stay deep in the desert and depend on the camel milk for food. The Marrecha pastoralists have an average herd size of 37 camels, majority female (20-25% lactating camels) Marrecha camel of Cholistan Desert. A good Marrecha camel can produce up to 10 milk/day and produces up to 250 days in the ordinary grazing management in the desert. A lactation yield of 1500 kg is expected from an average lactating camel in the desert of Cholistan. 

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The Camel Heritage is sinking here…

The Marrecha pastoralists are facing the burden of constraints with a complex nature. Here the problems are presented in the bullets below.

  • Contrast to other deserts, the Cholistan is squeezing in size and the grazing lands are shrinking
  • The land right/grazing rights are not honored and the land grabbing is mounting with each moment of the time
  • The influentials from other regions and provinces allow the grazing lands of the pastoralists and shoot the camels entering in the allotted lands
  • Unfortunately, Cholistan desert is exactly situated along the world’s complex border between Pakistan and India
  • The movement restriction among the pastoralists on both sides of the border is resulting in the deterioration of the Marrecha breed because of the stipulation of the crossbreeding with other desert types of camels (Bikaneri and Jaisalmeri).
  • The region is one of the hot spots of the climate change which embracing the pastoralists with the complex challenges, especially new and fatal diseases.
  • The policy makers avoid engaging the pastoralists in policies, resulting in the Cholistan into the graveyard of the failed project. 

 

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The Best Option for Sustainable Food Production in Challenging Environment ~is the Promising Camel

Happy Camel’s Day (WCD)

Among the camel’s world, the subcontinent is the region where the day starts first. It is 22nd June in the subcontinent, so I can safely say Happy Camel’s Day. At the occasion of WCD, I started the series of articles based on the documents/material sent from different corners of the world. As my own share, I want to express my views on the role of the camel as a farm animal in NENA region.

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Not the ship but the gift of the desert

Near East and North Africa (NENA) is one of the driest and challenging landscapes on the face of the earth. The major percentage of the global deserted lands fall in this region, making it a hostile ecosystem for many other livestock species. Nature blessed the region with the highly adapted and unique livestock species “the Camel”, well said as Ataullah in Arabic.

As mentioned in the holy book Quran “do they do not look at camel; how strange it is created?” the camel is the animal of unique characteristics’ making it the most valuable creature of the drylands. The people living in this region, especially the camel herders and pastoralists depend on the camels for food, accessibility, and other livelihoods. Camel produces milk in very high ambient temperatures and other climatic challenges, in the same environment, other livestock species are hard to survive. Camel is not in competition with any other livestock as camel browse on very woody and bushy vegetation.

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The desert’s friend…

In the climate change scenario and fragile security (in some parts of Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria) camel is the animal of choice to provide precious food items as milk (primary product) and meat to ensure the survival of the people. Camel farming needs very low input making it a sustainable profession.

Based on my experience and scientific findings, I can say that camel is the most sustainable farm animal in the region. The cow model (cow dairies) is not sustainable in such a hostile ecosystem and the milk produced is very expensive if calculated in the ecosystem model as the cow needs many times more water to produce one liter of milk. The camel tolerates very high ambient temperatures, on a contrary, the cow needs a cooling system (using fossil oil) to produce milk in the same situation.

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Camel ensures accessibility in the remote areas

The quality of camel milk is very appreciating than that of cow milk. Free of allergen protein, intolerant lactose and low in the saturated long chain, fats making the camel milk the best choice for health sensitive people. The region needs to ensure joint efforts for making policies regarding the food and agriculture and keep the camel on top priority as an animal of food security in climate change scenario.

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They are not in competition with other livestock species

The organization “Camels4Life” which is an advocacy group supporting camel’s cause,  is always willing to support both governments and NGOs for finding ways to use a camel as a sustainable farm animal contrast to its old vision of beast of the burden.

For more details, please go to the link below.

https://camel4milk.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/camel-a-one-in-all-creature/

http://www.thenational.ae/uae/health/al-ain-doctor-sees-potential-in-camels-beyond-their-milk

Camel is Turning to its Original Task, the Milk

Camel milk’s demand is ever increasing among the nontraditional consumers, mostly on health ground. The camel milk is rich with certain molecules which are health promising, therefore, camel milk is known as natural pharmacy. New camel dairies are emerging and the already established firms are increasing their camel number and buying elite camel genetics for milk. The are some very important camel milk contests in different parts of the UAE in different time periods. Alwathba camel festival with the milk competition is one of them. I attended the contest of Alwathba and compiled some important information. I share it in the this blog with the camel lover people.

Each year there are many camel milk contests in different parts of the camel habitats but the most prominent and unique one is Alwathab, AbuDhabi, UAE.

There are mainly 3 groups of camels in contest

  1. Majaheem or Hazmi: Found in KSA, UAE and Oman and extends up to the Yemen.
  2. Mahajen (Cross of Arabi and Majaheem): Mainly found in the adjoining areas of Hazmi and Arabi
  3. Arabi: Mainly found in UAE and Oman
Arabi Camels, having good milking ability and are calm milking animal (Fashoosh in Arabic)

The interest in milking camels is ever increasing. Camel is a real treasure, whatever you want to search you will find. The people are treasuring the milk of the camel.

Mixed camels’ group.
Mahajen or Mixed Camels

Kajalle Sheep Breed of Zhob

Habitat: The nucleus of the breed is Wani , Gosa, Babar, Kapip areas of Zhob and Hassankhail area of Musakhail district. Kakar, Khostai, Babar, Sherani, Hassankhail tribes are the custodians of the breed.
They are mall in size, white body coat with the redhead, fine dense wool is the
the salient feature of Kajalle breed.
Population Trend: The population of the Kajalle sheep is almost 200,000 and the trend is increasing.

https://camel4milk.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/kajalle-sheep-breed-of-zhob/

Natural Health with the Camel Milk

Habitat: The nucleus of the breed is Wani , Gosa, Babar, Kapip areas of Zhob and Hassankhail area of Musakhail district. Kakar, Khostai, Babar, Sherani, Hassankhail tribes are the custodians of the breed.
They are mall in size, white body coat with red head, fine dense wool are the
salient feature of Kajalle breed.
Population Trend: The population of the Kajalle sheep is almost 200,000 and the trend is increasing.

Zhob is home to the true sheep and goat culture
Zhob is a very ancient heritage point and home to the precious and unique livestock breeds. It is the cradle of sheep and goat breeds. Gossali or Kajjale sheep is a very unique sheep genetic resources of the region.

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The Desert Ecotherapy

The deserts are not only beautiful but a place where you can enjoy the vast horizons and the fragrance of the deserts’ flora. The desert after the rains convert into an echoing green sands, rich with diversity of flora and fauna. The whole picture makes the scene very attractive, which works as an ECOTHERAPY.

I hereby share some glimpses from the desert. I’m sure, it will work as a healing agent for your health and thoughts. Lets, enjoy the glimpses and please come with your suggestions and thoughts.

The beautiful red sandy desert of the Alain is unique and special of its kind. I have named the desert as living desert. I hope, you will enjoy and share my articles on your social media pages.

Each side you focus in the desert, the beauty is there. You not need to chose place and things for photography. You just on your camera and start shooting the glimpses. https://camel4all.com/an-amazing-medicinal-plant-tribulus-terrestris/

You can see different kinds of life in the desert. You can find wasp, ants, lizards and different types of plants. The mix of the sunshine, dusk, rays, flowers, camels and others make is a scene of paradise.

Some plants are very specialized and crafted very unique by the nature. Such plants know how to survive in the harsh and hostile ecosystems. They are beautiful and useful as well.

Camel is one of the unique gift of the nature, landed in the desert. Loving camel is engineered in my DNA. I do not know, what the nature has really planned for me and the camel.

The main question is still there, how to harvest the potential of the desert sustainable and humanly. The bush fire, climate change and the planet warming has created serious questions in the minds of the people who really concern.

Let we think the nature as our mother and as our breath

Sandy or Deserted, Richland vs Poorland

The land cover with the sands is sandy, commonly known as desert. But all the sandy soil are not deserted soil. To me, deserted mean the land abused by the factory farming or monocultural farming, full of the residues of the pesticides, weedicides and chemicals.

The monoculture farming is hazardous to the flora and fauna and kill the mother earth natural health.

The sandy soils are commonly known as deserts because of the poor/low annual precipitation. When there is enough precipitation, such sandy lands turn into lush green meadows. Such lands are the reservoirs of the plants and animal genetic resources. The plants of the deserts are very beautiful with attractive flowers. https://camel4all.blog/2019/12/09/beautiful-flowers-and-fruits-of-wild-flora-of-united-arab-emirates/

In thins blog, I have to share some very beautiful pictures which I took yesterday in the evening time. We received some few rains last 3 weeks and now the desert is very beautiful and full of beautiful shrubs and flowers.

The sandy deserts are blessed with very special plants which conserve moisture in their cushions, hairy to divert evaporation moisture and hardy to resist strong sunshine.

We just need to place some inputs like reseeding of native plants, protection from grazing for a certain period and some landscape adjustment, we can turn the sandy desert into a shrubland.

Beautiful Flowers and Fruits of Wild Flora of United Arab Emirates

The desert in the UAE is a living desert, rich with plants and animals. The desert have different species of floras with beautiful flowers and fruits. I hereby share a link of my video channel to see the beauty of the desert.

Please like, comment the video and subscribe my channel.

Camel Milk is Closest to the Human Milk

The main task of this article is to tell you about the support and endorsement of my statements regarding the camel milk as a natural therapy. Sometimes I copy and paste paragraphs from an article of a friend ‘Philippa Young’ to tell you about the views of the people who are behind the camels’ facts since years. The link of her article is provided below. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/camel-milk-the-biggest-hu_b_773016?test_ad=readmo_test&guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly90LmNvL0x2Rlo1ZURjSVk_YW1wPTE&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAADhhp5_3V5uSaUJm2hrcVzIi-lGqwx_WnlvJgeAh1Dm5jb6LbseeKSge-JSChsxxYnMwBo6nefsI3lCOns9xD_V7-ypXcJkF2EE3eJwbXB2ZlTmIhqjJdB9E5Dnm46F-oPu2-rD0oUiIWJmHFf8yY6qRAMrNfTXm0BmCk1HytMny

Camel milk is the closest you can get to a human mother’s milk, with 10 times more iron and three times more vitamin C than cow’s milk. It is antibacterial and low in lactose. Used medicinally by nomadic communities for centuries, fermented camel’s milk is still popular in Kazakhstan as a treatment for Tuberculosis and for HIV/AIDS in Kenya and Somalia. Research has been conducted into treating Crohn’s disease, breast cancer and autism, however the most promising studies have been in the field of diabetes. (copy and past from the Philippa article)

The Diabetes Healing Tonic

While almost impossible to make camel milk into cheese, this is good news for diabetes sufferers. Dr. Agrawal of the Bikaner Diabetes Care and Research Centre explains, “We have demonstrated that the consumption of camel milk in type I diabetes results in a significant reduction in the dose of insulin required to maintain long-term glycemic control.” Whilst the 2005 study maintained that insulin therapy is still the best option, in cases of needle phobia or in countries where the cost of treatment demands an alternative, just 500ml of raw fresh camel’s milk daily improves quality of life. This is due to a protein found in camel milk with characteristics similar to insulin that does not coagulate as is the case with cow and goat milk. The camel milk protein passes rapidly through the stomach into the intestines for absorption. https://camel4milk.wordpress.com/category/diabetes/

Camel is Making Space as Non-cow Dairy Animal in the US

Right now in the U.S. the only people who can get hold of the milk ‘a la mode’ are 14 Amish camel dairies and the few parents who have demanded the dromedary juice as a treatment for their autistic child. https://camel4milk.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/camel-journey-from-its-original-habitat-to-modern-world/

“Camel milk is the new oil,” says Director Alicia Sully of The What Took You So Long Foundation (WTYSL), a film crew currently traveling Africa and the Middle East documenting the camel milk industry and campaigning for more research to be undertaken, “Camels don’t produce as much milk as cows, so it’s relatively rare. Camel populations are in decline so sharing knowledge about how valuable its milk is may help save an animal that has supported humans in the desert for thousands of years.”

A wide and diverse appreciation is ever increasing about the role of camel milk as a natural healthy therapy. I suggest you to please read point to point about the camel milk and support my cause with your suggestions and comments.