Camels’ Manure~From Waste to a Worthwhile Farming Agent
Camel dung is beautiful in its architecture, dry and odorless. Camels’ manure/dung is used as a fueling agent in many developing countries, especially among the pastoralists’ communities. It is ready to burn after very few minutes and does not need to dry in sunshine for many days like cows’ dung. In the small scaled farming system, it is used both for fuel and organic fertilizer. In northeastern Balochistan and Southern Afghanistan, it is used as a fertilizer for Pomegranate and wine trees(personal communication).
In Americas, the dung of new world’s camelid (Llama) is used to neutralize the acidic, metal-laden water through a highly unusual filter: llama droppings in Bolivia 1. It is a very good agent for filtration because of its higher fiber contents.
On the other hand, camels’ manure is going waste in countries (its original habitat) with highest camel population per unit land mass area (Gulf countries) in the world. UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar have the highest camel population on per unit land mass at the global level, producing millions of tons of manure annually; all going waste. I only found one reference that BP uses camels’ manure in Sharjah (UAE) for the decomposition of hydrocarbon leaked in the soil/water 2. Camels’ dung is used for Bio-Paper production in India but at a minor level.
Based in UAE, here a common misperception is prevailing regarding camels’ manure as; it has no value as fertilizer. This perception had made camels’ dung a valueless atom and it is a burden on camel breeders to properly dump. On contrary (research findings) camel dung has almost the same value as that of cow dung 3.
Camel dung decomposes faster than many others because of the diverse and stronger microflora in camels’ rumen. Camel is, therefore, more efficient in nutrient recycling, making camels’ dung more useful for cropping and farming. Hoffmann and Muhammad revealed that camel dung does not differ from cow and other ruminants’ dung 4.
In conclusion, camels’ dung is an untapped precious resource which is not properly utilized so far. The visionary and innovative opinion in Gulf countries, especially the UAE can bring silver sliding in the clouds and may find ways to use this precious resource for the agricultural development of the region. Also, the research institutes of the region should come forward to chalk out projects on the exploring true worth of camel dung.
This piece of the manuscript is the tip of the ice burg and brainstorming to launch a discussion regarding this precious organic material. I hope to hear from different quarters and to find ways for its judicious use. The GAA of the FAO can be a great forum to address this issue.
“A dairy camel weighing 600 kg produces 15-17 kg dry manure daily. The racing and other camels produce half of that quantity. In a 1000 camels’ dairy, the daily manure production is about 16,000 kg. All this asset is going waste. On the other hand, the date palm waste is also going waste. There is no use at all. The camel dung (with a high and diversified level of microflora) can be a potential decomposing agent for the date palm waste. Both wastes in combination can be a potential asset for organic farming in the region.”
I hereby suggest some of few ways can be the best use for camels’ dung.
- Farm Yard Manure/fertilizer
- Material to combat desertification and dune fixing
- Power generation
- Bijal P. Trivedi. 2002. Llama Dung May Be Used to Clean Bolivia Water Supply. National Geographic Published online (ttp://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/02/0205_0205TVllamadung.html)
- Godfrey Uzodinma Iregbu, Ibrahim Hayatu Kubkomawa, Chidiogo Grace Okoli, Emanuel Chinedum Ogundu, Martin Chukwudi Uchegbu, Ifeanyi Charles Okoli. 2014. Environmental concerns of pig waste production and its potentials as biofuel source Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences 2014; 1(3): 17-24. Published online November 10, 2014 (http://www.openscienceonline.com/journal/javs)
- M. Irshad, A. E. Eneji, Z. Hussain and M. Ashraf. 2013. Chemical characterization of fresh and composted livestock manures. Journal of soil science and plant nutrition. Published online (http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0718-95162013005000011)
- Hoffmann, I. & Mohammed, I. 2004. The role of nomadic camels for manuring farmer’s fields in the Sokoto close-settled zone, Northwest Nigeria. Nomadic Peoples 8(1): 1-14.