My Philosophy of Sustainability

The scientists think that the world will become severely crowded by century 2600 when power consumption could turn the planet into a sizzling fireball Stephen Hawking explains how we could reach Mars in less than an HOUR and Pluto in days. The air will turn red, dry and dusty. In my point of view, the camel will still accompany the human race. Please do not migrate to Mars as our mother earth is the more special. It is my dream, the mother earth can sustain with the help of the unique creatures it has. Among such creatures, the camel is the most prominent and special. My idea and my art ‘the philosophy of sustainability’. It really works, let belief in the native genetic resources to ensure our livelihood on our beautiful mother earth.

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A Beautiful Camel Heritage is Sinking

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.

Figure-1-Map-of-the-study-area-in-the-Cholistan-desert-Pakistan-with-the-homesteads-of
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. 

 

The camel Worth Different in Reality VS the Appearance

Thinking critically and philosophically, the camel has two sides of the actuality, i.e. the real one and the exterior one. Camel is not like other animals but unique, having dualistic sides and special value if asses with a holistic approach. Following are the few examples.

The decorated Marrecha camel of Cholistan desert of Pakistan

1. Though a slow and dull animal but ensures walking in tough terrains (ship of the desert)

2. Longer calving intervals but produces the unique calves, compatible to the extreme weathers (lesser number of calves in life time period)

3. Apparently producing lesser quantity of milk but the potential is up to 45 liter per day (apparently low producer in milk)

4. Considered thinner milk but energized with the magical values, considered as superfood (low total solids)

5. Can eat anything but prefer the best quality vegetation if available

6. Though a farm animal but having the strength and resistance power of a wild creatures (close to wild ancestors)

7. A model animal, alone having the capabilities of many farm and wild animals (all in one animal)

For further reading, please go to the link below:

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

Another World Donkey Day 8th May~ Who will listen and Who Should Listen?

Urban..The unique Biological Machine for Work (BMW), highly adapted, the specialized creature is still hiding from the policy makers and highly neglected at all levels. This unique creature is still playing the same role since ages Reminding the Role of Poor Creature~The DonkeyDsc01680

The donkey is not only a working equid but equally play a pivotal role in religious rituals, recreations in some cultures and part & parcel of different heritages. Unfortunately, the donkey kingdom is facing panic problems, ranging from the ill treatment, poor welfare to sick behavior of some societies towards the donkey. donkey products

Celebrating the world donkey day is to aware the masses about the importance of the donkey on one hand and to realize its importance in the agricultural/ urban economies of the world on the other hand. World Donkey Day 8th May

Donkey is now introduced in many EU countries as ecosystem service to help in the flora biodiversity in the forest. World Donkey Day (May 8). In Germany, grazing with livestock is the most commonly used strategy for maintaining the landscape and for conserving rare plants, as well as certain bird species on the Red List.

The donkey is making its place in the changing world and finding option hopes to be used for other purposes as well. Unluckily, the trend of exporting to China for skin trade is the most debatable and questionable. Yes, we must use the animal and plant genetic resources for food and agriculture but it must be based on sustainability, respect, and benefit sharing. I fear that these working animals if used for skin and meat trade, will have a very negative effect on the rural economy in Asia and AfricaThe Blind Export of Precious Donkey will lead to Extinction of this Genetic Resourcedonkey is the most useful and strong

As a conclusion, I would suggest to chalk out a policy to regularize the utilization, welfare, & trade related issues and to share the benefits coming from this trade with the custodian of the donkey genetic resources.Animal genetic resources and “Access and Benefit-Sharing”: not made for each other?

For Further reading, please go to the links below;

Donkeys and development: socio-economic aspects of donkey use in Africa

Benefits of donkeys in rural and urban areas in northwest Nigeria

The Welfare of Donkeys

DONKEY BREEDS OF NORTH-EASTERN BALOCHISTAN, PAKHTOONKHUA, AND SOUTHERN AFGHANISTAN

List of donkey breeds

Donkey! Shingharri Breed

Water Foot Print VS the Earth Change

Not only the climate but the Earth as a whole is Changing

Under earth changing context, the water is getting more importance in all aspects. Due to many reasons, the consumption of water is ever increasing and the recharging sources are depleting.

Africa camel

High water costs

High input/output agriculture is engulfing immense amount of water per unit produce. Can you imagine, that sometimes (depend on weather and production system) the water consumption/kg milk is more than 800 liters of water?

Turning to the Future and People Intelligence

We should look for the alternatives, turning to the people wisdom, the communities had been practicing since ages. The small scaled and people’s agriculture can be one of the solutions.

For details, please go to the link.

The Value of Water in the Earth Changing Context

The Climate Change Forced African Pastoralists to Replace Cow with the Camel

Maalem is a camel pastoralist in Kenya and she is thankful for camel as this precious animal ensures livelihood in the climatic calamities of the region.maalem

Bone-dry plains roasted by a relentless equatorial sun. At first glance, there’s little to be found in the fields near Isiolo, a provincial town about five hours’ drive north of the capital, Nairobi. But Mariam Maalim’s camels still manage to find something to eat. They nibble at arid bushes, while the wooden bells around their necks tinkle softly.Kenyans turn to camels to cope with climate change

Camels survive two weeks without water

“My husband and I had a hundred cattle until 2005. But as the climate became drier in this region, the cows stopped producing milk, and twenty to thirty of our cows even died every year,” says 45-year-old Maalim, dressed in a blue hijab. “This made us decide to shift to camels as they survive without water for over two ­weeks. They continue to give milk, and although they become weak and skinny, they won’t die.”

For details please go to the link below;

http://www.dw.com/en/kenyans-turn-to-camels-to-cope-with-climate-change/a-38300987

 

 

The Blind Export of Precious Donkey will lead to Extinction of this Genetic Resource

The Donkey’s Importance

  1. Donkey, the beautiful but very useful creature

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2. Donkey, the wheel of the rural life

donkey and rural life..donkey in rural life

3. Donkey is the wheel of urban transport

Urban lifeUrban..

4. Donkey is the companion of nomads and ensures movability

nomadNomads.

5. The unique biodiversity

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6. Unfortunately, neglected and avoided

neglected..neglected

7. Treated in a bad way, no respect

8. But a strong and adapted Creature

strong and adapted.jpg.,,donkey is the most useful and strong

9. The obedient and beautiful

10. A bad decision, a dark decision, leading to extinction

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11. Planning to send to the hell

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12. The hell of Chinese food and cosmetics

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Donkey meat

This cruel trade is already going on and flourishing.

Demand for donkey skin in China leads to barbaric killings in SA China’s demand for African donkeys prompts export bans

But there are bold steps from some countries.

Niger is the latest African country to ban donkey exports to China

Epilogue

Unfortunately and sadly, my own country is going to export this useful creature to China. The China’s demand will never end for the donkey. There is the danger of extinction of this useful and precious animal in Pakistan. The poor people use the donkey to earn the livelihood. The rich people and greedy companies will make business and the poor will ruin. I hereby appeal to the policy makers to please re-think on the decision and study the social and economic aspects of the export of the precious donkey.

KP govt proposes plan to regulate donkey rearing and export to China

Thousands of donkey skins have already been exported to China (from Pakistan) under an unfair and silent trade. Who ate the meat of those killed and skinned donkeys? Nobody knows the reality of this dark and black business. The people of the country have the right to know the reality of this business. The link is provided below.

83,475 skins sent to China: FBR urged to ban export of donkey hides

The author had been struggling to visualize the importance of this precious animal. Since last few years, the author in collaboration with a great team of like-minded people is celebrating world donkey day World Donkey Day (May 8). We also have a facebook page of World Donkey Day.

This sad news is circulating amid the onset of the world donkey day. This fact is making me so sad and unhappy. The jokes are making on social media regarding this burning issue. I appeal to the public of the Pakistan to please have a serious look on this matter of urgent nature.

Some more links about the donkey trade with China

China’s silent donkey skin importation from Africa

The China is going to use CPEC for the import of donkey and other agricultural goods from Africa. A social and environmental impact studies are the utmost need to be done in Pakistan. Please do not go for blind decisions.

Reminding the Role of Poor Creature~The Donkey

Australian Organization and the Government are Looking to find Ways for Camel Genetic Resources to GCC Region

A one day workshop was organized by Ngaanyatjarra Camel CompanyIndigenous camel company gets over the hump, Camel Treck Australia, and Agricultural Consulting Company Queensland Australia to find ways for Australian camel export to the GCC Region Gulf Cooperation Council. The details of the program are attached Workshop Program Rafat (1).download (1)

The theme and the venue of the workshop are in the ensuing lines. Australian Camel Export Development in the Gulf States Intercontinental Festival City Dubai, Dubai Festival City January 30, 2017.Karen

The presence of so many participants from different countries of the region gave me immense pleasure as the camel is getting its due importance at different levels. The participants from Oman, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia participated in the workshop. download (2)

There was a wide and deep discussion on the role of camel genetic resources in the food security under changing climate change scenario. The author presented a talk on the potential role of a camel in milk production. The milk production potential was presented with the help of the daily and lactation yield curves and the challenges of the camel dairying were chalked out in the meanwhile. The author was very optimistic and viewed that the camel introduced in the Australian continent was a reason to ensure food security in this part of the world.DSC_7014.JPG

This was a unique opportunity to strengthen communication between 2 regions with the reference of camels. The universities, research institutions, camel dairy farms like camelait Camelait! Al Ain Camel Dairy Products and many camel farmers were connected at the occasion of this precious one day workshop. image

For me, it was a great pleasure seeing the Australian government and the organizations are now looking to find ways for the utilization of Australian camels instead of mass killings. I was one of the strongest voice at the global level to halt this mass killing of precious camels. Vaarzon-Morel-Figure 4._opt.png

The main suggestion of the workshop was to find ways for sustainable utilization of the Australian camel genetic resource in food security under the climate change scenario.

 

 

 

 

The Strong and Resilient Plant of Desert; Zygophyllum (Zygophyllum qatarense)

Zygophyllum qatarense
The desert tolerant saltbush of the Arabian peninsula

Zygophyllum qatarense is a salt-tolerant plant of the Arabian Peninsula that grows as a rounded, dwarf shrub. In adaptation to retaining water in its saline environment, it has small compact leaves that are rather fleshy and succulent. The camel loves this plant because of 2 main reasons, the i.e. rich source of water and providing abundant salts.

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Pharmacological Action and Toxicity
Aqueous extract of the plant is documented to produce a lowering of blood pressure and acts as a diuretic and antipyretic, local anesthetic, with anti-histamine activity, stimulation, and depression of isolated amphibian heart, relaxation of the isolated intestine, contraction of uterus and vasodilation. The extract antagonized acetylcholine action on skeletal muscle and acted additively to the muscle relaxant effect of d-tubocurarine. The juice from fresh leaves and stems is known to be used as an abrasive cleanser and as a remedy for the treatment of certain skin diseases.

For further details;

Part 2. Ice Cream Species of Plants for the Camel and Goat

Zygophyllum qatarense is a salt-tolerant plant of the Arabian Peninsula

http://specieswild.blogspot.ae/2015/03/zygophyllum-coccineum-guide-to.html

 

France is discovering camels~Endorsement of World Camel’s Day

WORLD CAMEL’S DAY

As a series of world camel’s day endorsement from all over the world, I have received this piece of information from the head of the Dromacity France. She (Fra) is very vibrant and energetic and supporting camels her best at all levels. ” France is discovering camels (small and big) and the government is currently thinking about how to identify and take inventory of those animals. Non-endemic in France, camels are always imported and it is usually done without any tractability. The government wants to order animals’ marking in order to limit health risks linked to the introduction (sometimes by mafia) of those animals classified as ‘exotic’ so ‘unusual’ by French customs services.IMG_5419.JPG

Dromacity participates to Ministry’s workshop which aims to create a common database for camels’ owners and holders. Today, almost only vets worked on the legislative text whereas they have only a few experiences with those animals. DromaSud will be appointed by the Ministry to bring their knowledge and share their experience with vets, in order to help them know how to approach camels (less fear for small camels as llamas or alpacas).
In France, camels owners are rarely professionals (vets or farmers) but are usually fans who own few animals and never herds. Nevertheless, they have a major demand, claimed also by DromaCity: change the classification for camels, from ‘exotic’ to ‘livestock’ as horses. This change would allow free importation of animals selected by the buyer and will limit expensive sells managed by sellers who owns non-healthy animals (diseases, physical and/or psychological defects).
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We hope that French government will change its mind on this law and open its borders to our favorite animals: Camel!
This the fight we are leading!

What is said in the law:

Camels’ owners and holders must now register their animals in the common database.
Holders have to mention the place where they hold the animal, and owners have to ensure the follow-up of ownership.

Moreover, registration of the identification of camels being in France has to be done by the person doing the identification: the owner in case of the auricular mark or the vet in case of the subcutaneous transponder.

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With race camel in Dubai, 2015

eSIRECam database should be live in the second semester of 2016, camels owners will then have 1 year to be compliant with the law and register their animals.”

http://www.ifce.fr/ifce/sire-demarches/camelides/enregistrement-des-camelides/

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.

Bandari
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

Bill Gates launches chicken plan to help Africa poor

No doubt, rural chicken is playing pivotal in the socio-economic, socio-cultural and food security chapters of the rural and remote regions of the world. The chicken model for rural micro-development and poverty reduction is always appreciated and accepted globally. Bill Gates has rightly chosen this special small creature to help the rural poor of Africa. I hereby share my experience so for in this field and comment in the ensuing lines.
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For several years, I worked with the projects like that (Bill Gates launches chicken plan to help Africa poor) in rural areas of Pakistan, especially Balochistan. I’m the witness of many projects; given livestock heads to the rural poor to achieve the objectives as following.
  • Provision of rich/important sources of food (protein, minerals and vitamins) for the family use, like milk, egg  and meat etc. This part is especially important for the children and women
  • To get rid from severe poverty as small set of livestock has the capability to help in getting out from the extreme poverty. The families with such set of livestock can manage schooling for their children, also give the purchasing power for daily necessary items.
  • To support women health as livestock is main owned/managed by women especially chicken, goat, buffalo and cow etc. Women gets power to purchase her daily use items for her-selves and her kids.Backyard Chickens & Basket of Eggs.jpg
 But there are some main challenges like;
A. Neglecting the Importance of the Native Chicken/Livestock breeds
Introduction of animal genetic resources from other region (like mountainous breed in low land, etc), even if they were from the same country, resulted in many diverse outcomes. Also, new animals can bring new diseases. During my experience with such project, we could not find the animals given next year. This challenge/mistake leads to many other sad outcomes like dilution/adulteration of local breeds, weakening of the resilience of the communities to the climate change and food security challenge. So I recommend to provide local breed of chicken only.chicken and women.JPG
B. Selection of the deserving people
Some people just like to have free lunch and they will dine such precious project in the first quarter of its life. I have seen such situation in a sheep project.
C. Monitoring of the project
Such projects need proper and contentious monitoring for at least 3 years with proper data recording and keeping bird eye on pros and cons of the development process.
D. Provision of the appropriate set
Provision of a set of chickens which makes sense. The set of five chicken is too small to support a family. The set of animals perform very important role. The chicken set of 10:1 (F:M) will have more chances of success than smaller size of 5 chicken only.
E.  Provision of vet. cover
Provision of continuous veterinary cover can assure the success of the project, especially vaccination against the epidemic diseases. Some diseases outbreaks are very specific to certain regions. (I would never recommend provision of feed for the livestock as a charity.
F. Publication of the outcomes
The data achieved must process and the outcomes of the project must publish for the public use. This huge project will lay guidelines for such projects in the future.
Further reading about the importance of the native chicken;
Looking forward for a successful project to ease the life of rural Africa.

The Nature Engineered Distinctive DNA to Beat the Challenge of Climate Change

Thank God, my dream came true as; specially engineered camel DNA (revealed in a recent study) makes this unique animal a solution to climate change and other challenges. The study ( the author was part of it) published in PNAS with full access here. a day before. The authors have ensured that the remarkable story over its long and celebrated history stands out like a scientific beacon. Without the camel, Arabian trade, medieval conquests, and recent communication routes would all have collapsed, changing the course of events for human civilizations as well as that incredible diversity among the camel gene pools of Asia, Africa, and even Australia.

Kohi Camel Caravan.jpg

A unique and pioneering study of the ancient and modern DNA of the ‘ship of the desert’ the single-humped camel or dromedary has shed new light on how its use by human societies has shaped its genetic diversity. DNA Sequencing Reveals Human Desert Migrations Shaped Camel Genetics.

Dromedaries have been fundamental to the development of human societies, providing food and transport in desert countries, for over 3,000 years. The dromedary continues to be vital for livelihood, food, and recreations where other species would not survive. In the current context of climate change and advancing desert landscapes, the animal’s importance is increasing and there is new interest in the biology and reproduction of the species.

In my opinion “genetic mixing and re-mixing engineered special DNA (camels) as; by constantly mixing the populations, the camels are now very genetically diverse which makes them more resilient to climate change. As predicted by the climate scientists, the mercury will go up with the passage of years, the camels will be the best choice among the others for food security and sustainable farming systems.

dromedarypic1

The study suggests that the wild camels, which are now extinct, periodically helped restock domesticated populations. Unlike many other domesticated animals, modern camel populations have maintained their ancestral genetic diversity, potentially enabling adaptation to future changes in terrain and climate, according to the authors.

For more general articles the links are given in the ensuing lines. The links are referred in the article also.

References;

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36252141

http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2016/05/human-migrations-shaped-camel-dna

http://www.sciencecodex.com/origin_of_dromedary_domestication_discovered-182056

http://www.zmescience.com/science/dromedary-camel-genetics/

http://nhv.us/content/16056061-first-domestication-dromedaries-took-place-southeast-arabian

http://www.earthtimes.org/conservation/diversity-camels-conserved-3000-years/2938/

http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/june-2013/article/ancient-trading-networks-and-arabian-camel-diversity

The Desert’s Livestock Species Have Tremendous Potential for Milk Produciton

The Cholistan is the cradle of precious desert livestock breeds and camel is one of the core livestock. The famous Marrecha breed of camel and Cholistani cattle are the backbone of the desert economy and livelihood1. The Brela or Malgade with high yielding camel breed come to the desert after the monsoon. Brela

The interest of scientists and policymakers have been inclined in last few years and many interventions are introduced in the beautiful living desert of Cholistan. Contest for milk competitions are held almost every year and the main species is the camel. The contest of this year was attended and reported by Dr. Sajjad Khan (a well known international professor for animal breeds and breeding). I hereby copy his email to briefly tell about the milking contest and the livestock breeds participating.

Heartening story of Camel and Cholistani cattle

Dear All
In the gloomy scenario of recent camel article shared at dad-net regarding camels in Rajastan (India), we have a good news from across the border in Pakistan. Camel milk competition for this year concluded a few days back and Maricha breed (known for racing and dance) is a new addition in the milk competitions as it produced 18.94 liters in 36hrs under natural conditions. Natural conditions include no concentrate, no message and no injections of any sort and a sand-and-rain storm on day 2nd of the competition etc.  Brela breed (on the right) which is known as better milk producer gave 23.24 liters (in 36hrs). Less than our expectations, animals had traveled as far from as 72 hrs of walk before the competition. Pictures are from a national newspaper where Government is congratulating winners (and supporting camel keepers).Camel milk winners 2016.png
Another good news is that first time ever we had an exclusive Cholistani cattle show along with the camel show. Cholistani is parent breed of Sahiwal and probably hardest of all the tropical breeds we have as it survives in Cholistani desert. The first position went to a cow (among 62 competing) producing 30. 54 liters (cow on the right).
Cholistani milk winners 2016.png
The second position was secured by a cow from a government farm. For me, the beauty competition was even more fabulous as Cholistani has all sort of colors and animals without makeups were still amazing. Picture of a young bull (4th position holder) is attached as its color is the most preferred color (black splashes on the light background). It was a wonderful opportunity to be with my own people whom I had never met and learning how they survive in the harshest conditions. The temperature there may reach 52C in summer and of course no electricity.
Cholistani bull beauty - 4th.jpg
Let us not despair, keep trying and I agree with many things pointed out by Dr. Razik.
Best regards
Sajjad”
Reference
1. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cholistanthe-future-food-basket-dr-abdul-raziq-kakar?trkSplashRedir=true&forceNoSplash=true

Turning Again to the Native Gene ~ Back to the Future

Turning Again to the Native Gene ~ Back to the Future

The catastrophes of climate change along with growing desertification consequence in the adoption of new strategies. The industrialized nation’s choice is mitigation strategy while among the native livestock keepers’ adaptation is the best tactic. Unfortunately, the so called policy makers (at all levels) are not that much in tune (with the above-said challenges) as the rural indigenous people of the bush are. These sensible livestock keepers know how to materialize livestock agriculture sustainably as; to satisfy versatile requirements of the owner/community and ensure its own life whereas depending on available natural resources.20151009_172921

The so pseudo green revolution (1960s era) was actually a trick of the capitalism to provide an immature solution (factory farming) to increase productivity but contrary it resulted in erosion/dilution of the precious native animal genetic resources and depletion of soil fertility. Coincidentally, nature reacts after each specific period and shed all the unkind things attach to it; intensive farming is failing in many ways.

A Case Study from Balochistan

In months of September, October (2015), I visited the rural areas of northeastern Balochistan. I sniffed a very positive change, the wise decision of the community elders; turning back to the native cattle. Many small scale farmers have adopted the native cattle (Kohe-Suleimani/Lohani/Kakari®) to better utilize free available natural resources and ensure sustainable production. The lovely Kakari cows mostly depend on the bushes, especially Sarghasie (abundantly available bush in the region) which is otherwise useless. Some wise farmers narrated “native cow is the best weed regulator” as she restricts the weeds/bushes to creep in the cropping lands. She is the best converter of bushes into food item and high fibrous manure.20151012_101537

The dung produced by the cattle provides softy and fluffy texture to the soil, making it apt for cropping. The cow manure is highly preferred for wheat, tomato, cauliflower, almond, and apricot agriculture. Sometimes, the dung is used in construction material is added to the mud plaster. The native cow is unique as; grows well, catches high consumer demand, resistant to health ailments/parasites and easy management making it the best choice as a farm animal.20151009_170928

Nevertheless producing little milk (2-3 liter per day with a shorter lactation length), idolized as best in the conversion of poor quality roughages into precious milk and meat. The yummy, creamy and appetizing milk makes it super cow than the exotic one. Its milk is esteemed as beautifying skin and treats febrile conditions. The special taste of ghuarri (a Pashtu word used for ghee) produced from its milk is highly anticipated. Pashtuns’ folk poetry is rich with the appreciation of the precious ghuarri. The surplus ghuarri is sold by the women and the income purely owned by them. Now a day, the prices for ghuarri is too high and attracts bulky Pakistani rupees. Hey! The native genes empower the women, they told.20151009_174051

The steer catches reasonable prices at the occasion of Eid-Adha, highly preferred by locals and suit well to a common customer. A slightly pinkish color beef (not too red) has the special desire and high organoleptic scoring. It is approachable selection for the low-income groups during the Eid-Adha and other religious/cultural occasions. A native keeper whispered that it takes the little time to cook, making a good selection for women.20151011_161325

The strategies adopted by the native/indigenous people are highly useful to guarantee sustainable farming systems under climate change scenario. Their knowledge is based on centuries’ long experience and evolved with the natural phenomena; making it the treasurable heritage of humanity. Unfortunately, their contents are never asked while making policy regarding the livestock agriculture both at national and international levels. It would be so great if native livestock keepers are involved in policy making to ensure sustainable and ecological farming.20151011_161444

For more details, please go to the links below;

http://dry-net.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/091220_potential_of_livestock_breeds_of_Baluchistan_final_.pdf

http://www.pastoralpeoples.org/docs/CGRFA_LIFE_sideevent_kakar.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/216121092_Prospects_of_Livestock_Production_in_Balochistan

®Native livestock Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture are very diverse in many ways, having different names in different regions, many colors, sizes, and purposes etc.