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.

zygoozygo

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

 

The Milking Camels of Australia~World Camel’s Day Gift

The beautiful series of World Camel’s Day (WCD) is continue. The recent updates are received by Hannah Purss from Australia. She is telling about her camel journey and the milking camels of Australia. Here is her article in the ensuing lines.

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The disciplined Camel walking on grass instead of sand

“I was first introduced to camels when I was working in Central Australia, a hot, semi-arid region of the country. As I learnt about the valuable contribution camels made to Australia’s development, and the current wild population in the Australian deserts I realized what a valuable, yet wasted, commodity we have here. Dromedary camels do not roam free in other countries as they do in Australia, we are the only country that is yet to recognize their value. Here in Australia, wild camels are said to be in numbers above 300,000.  Most farmers and landholders that have access to wild camel populations view them as a pest, are uninterested in camels or are unsure of how to work with them.

 In 2014, Evan Casey and I founded Australian Camel Solutions Pty Ltd, a company that is based on solid and progressive camel handling and the development of the camel industry in Australia.

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The safe and friendly transportation of camels

 In Queensland, in Australia’s east, we have co-founded The Australian Wild Camel Corporation Pty Limited, a commercial scale camel dairy company. Being on the east coast of Australia means we can be closely linked with universities, academics and various dairy, camelid and veterinary experts.

We have been in operation for around six months now. We are having the most remarkable experience putting our theories and plans into practice, and as a team we are learning more each day.

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Hannah Caring her camels

Currently we are milking over 50 camels and as we move into Australian calving season, we hope to increase that number rapidly. The training program we use to bring camels from completely wild and out of the desert into our milking herd was developed by our company, Australian Camel Solutions, and is based on body language and the communication methods we’ve picked up from the camels themselves. In our dairy training program, we don’t use ropes or restraints on the animals which has helped us tremendously in the speed we can train them, and in keeping their stress levels down during the process. On farm, we have a vibrant, young team and it is especially exciting for me to see them growing in their camel handling skills and their passion for the industry. At TAWCC, we are passionate about fostering a supportive and progressive camel community.

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The Camel Milk

We have been conducting lots of product development – from fresh milk, to ice cream, yogurt and more. Our milk is currently being used to produce our own brand of camel milk soaps and skincare products. The skincare products are currently available only in selected stores, but very soon we will have them more readily available in Australian stores, online and hopefully around the world.

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The Happy, Healthy, Alert and Beautiful Camels of Australia

A very Happy World Camel Day from Australia!”

Hannah Purss, Australian Camel Solutions PTY LTD

www.camelmilkaus.com

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

Camel Milk Has Gained Interest and Sales in the US—A World Camel’s Day History and Update

The series of World Camel’s Day, these updates are sent by Christina Adam from the USA. She is well known for her initiatives ‘using camel milk for autistic patients’.

Christina Adams MFA, USA, Contact: cadams@xiqllc.com, Twitter@camelmilkinfo,

https://www.facebook.com/christinaadamsauthorautismadvocate

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Camel in Texas at Baum family farm

Camel milk for human consumption has enjoyed a recent sharp spike in the US. Trends in autism and health-related awareness led the young domestic industry from almost zero consumers to thousands in four years. Camel milk is an exciting new product, yet the lack of domestic camel history in the US means camel milk causes ‘upturned noses.’ People are afraid it will taste ‘weird.’ That’s why the sick-person market is the main target of domestic producers. Only the ill or adventurous will try it, and the per-bottle cost of $12-25 USD is a deterrent to healthy people. But autism and food allergies/intolerance in pediatric patients are insufficiently treated with mainstream medicine, so parents like these are willing to use alternative and supplemental products like camel milk– not only to alleviate these problems but for well-tolerated dairy products for baking, drinking and travel use.

Camel milk for human consumption has enjoyed a recent sharp spike in the US. Trends in autism and health-related awareness led the young domestic industry from almost zero consumers to thousands in four years. Camel milk is an exciting new product, yet the lack of domestic camel history in the US means camel milk causes ‘upturned noses.’ People are afraid it will taste ‘weird.’ That’s why the sick-person market is the main target of domestic producers. Only the ill or adventurous will try it, and the per-bottle cost of $12-25 USD is a deterrent to healthy people. But autism and food allergies/intolerance in pediatric patients are insufficiently treated with mainstream medicine, so parents like these are willing to use alternative and supplemental products like camel milk– not only to alleviate these problems but for well-tolerated dairy products for baking, drinking and travel use.

2016-06-08 16.47.57Bottles of frozen US camel milk

My son was perhaps “patient zero” in the use of camel milk for autism in the US. When he developed autism, and was later diagnosed at age 2.9 years, I learned diet was a key part of managing symptoms for many kids. When I removed cow dairy products from his diet, his language improved and his red cheeks faded within weeks. Later, it became clear that cow dairy products worsened his autism symptoms. When he was around 5, eating pizza with the cheese removed caused him to walk in circles and hand-flap (classic autism symptoms) and he stated “it feels like there’s dirt in my brain.” Back then, only time and sometimes digestive enzymes would lessen the symptoms. (His recovery process is told in A Real Boy: A True Story of Autism, Early Intervention and Recovery, https://www.amazon.com/Real-Boy-Autism- Intervention-Recovery/dp/0425202437?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_cr_pr_product_top).2016-04-30 14.32.48.jpg

American women learn to groom camels at Oasis Camel Dairy

When he was seven, I met a man with a camel and his comment that camel milk was used in hospitals in the Middle East for premature infants due to being perceived as non-allergenic made me seek it out. After finding camel milk allergy and autism articles from Dr. Reuven Yagil, at great expense I imported raw frozen camel milk from Bedouins in the Middle East. After drinking 4 ounces of milk, my son experienced an incredible overnight improvement in his autism symptoms (outlined in my GAHM Journal article http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865381/). It also became effective as a treatment for his negative food responses to dairy, sugar and caffeine, such as hyperactivity, insomnia, oppositional and giddy behavior, often working within 15 minutes.

 I told many people about camel milk and increased my research, so when I learned that American Amish farmers were milking camels in 2011, I went public with our experience in 2012. International articles, speaking and radio shows help me spread the word about this natural healing substance. I feel very positive about camel milk, because even when it doesn’t cause a large improvement in a given child’s autism symptoms, it offers a widely tolerated source of calcium and nutrients for children and adults ona dairy-free diet.

Word spread widely also due to a Facebook group called Healing with Camel Milk, which was started by two mothers of health-impaired kids. Online sources like these, including my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/christinaadamsauthorautismadvocate and Twitter@camelmilkinfo, have helped parents learn about the milk and find safe sources. While I’ve helped families with autistic kids since 2000, now the daily messages are due to camel milk and autism. These come from the US and people around the globe.

Camels have been a force for good, unifying sick people and those who can help them, with camel milk historically being given to the sick in other countries. I’ve been pleased to discover that camel farmers in the US and professionals camel dairies in other countries have been very sympathetic to their customers, giving discounts to the most needy and using clean production methods. In the US, there are currently around 10 camel dairies, from those milking a single camel to one producing over a thousand bottles per week. Raw is the dominant form of milk, with pasteurized a distant second. Camel milk kefir and colostrum are also sold. New technology like flash-pasteurizing and sales of imported powered milk and chocolates add to the dairy farmers’ sales. Imported camel milk will appear in additional products soon. Yet the primary fluid milk market remains autism.Camel! A One in All Creatures

The tiny US industry will certainly grow once more people become aware of the potential benefits. Due to a lack of camel history and educational centers familiar with the animals, such US awareness will take time. In the meantime, I don’t have to go to the airport and wait for midnight flights from the desert anymore. I have delicious cold milk delivered straight to our doorstep. It may be less exciting, but nothing feels as good as opening a big insulated cooler with 40 bottles of frozen camel milk, and stacking them neatly inside my freezer. It is a feeling of richness and peace, one the camel cultures of the world know well—except they don’t need a freezer. They have camels.

Unfortunately, some quarters blaming camels for spreading MERS disease which is all lie and void of scientific support. Blaming Dromedary Camel For MERS

Defaunation Leads to Desertification

The word ‘Defaunation‘ is a merely new term used by scientists in a recent article published in the Journal Nature Communications. According to the team of scientists ” large animals important for the carbon storage in tropical forests. Defaunation is used for the declination of the fauna from the forests.elephent.jpg

“Scientists are only just beginning to understand the numerous ways in which animals affect the carbon cycle of tropical forests, and the consequences of declines of these animals – also termed ‘defaunation’ – for terrestrial carbon storage “, says Anand M Osuri, a member of Mahesh Sankaran’s group at NCBS and the study’s lead author. “Although defaunation is a problem affecting tropical forests the world over, our understanding of its consequences for carbon storage relies heavily on patterns seen in one part of the tropics – the forests of South America”, he adds.wildebeeest.png

The link of the study is given below for further reading and detailed study. http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/study-says-large-animals-important-for-carbon-storage-in-tropical-forests-53769

donkeIn short ‘global decline in the population of several wild animal species is among the most widespread drivers of Earth’s biodiversity crisis. The study highlights the importance of conserving large wild animals in the tropical forests as part of forest protection strategy for storing carbon and reducing emissions. This will ultimately help us to mitigate climate change.

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.

Lyme (Khurarra) Disease and Camel Milk

Traditionally known as ‘Khurarra or Khulaganda’ in Pashtu, having almost the same symptoms as discussed for Lyme disease from other parts of the world. Symptoms of Lyme disease (usually a bacterial infection) includes a fawn colour coating of the tongue, halitosis, dysgeusia (an abnormal taste in the mouth), and gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal distension, gas, flatulence, cramps, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, indigestion, heartburn (acid reflux), and other problems.

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According to our traditional knowledge (TK), the Pashtun Pastoralists directly strip camel milk in the mouth of the affected patient. They practice it 3-4 times daily (3-5 days) and the patient recovers in 5-9 days. This practice is being used for centuries and it is very useful. Some people use goat milk in the same way for this disease.

Positive results with drinking of camel milk for the treatment of Lyme is also reported from the other parts of the world.  According to renowned Physician Dr. Millie Hinkel from the USA ‘I’m seeing such positive results with Lyme disease patients who are on the camel milk’.  The joint pain and muscle fatigue seem to disappear and the gut issues dissipate usually within a few days to a few weeks.

CAMEL MILK A NATURAL PHARMACY………..Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar

Camel Milk can Help in Shark Conservation. Japan can be the Possible Market for Camel Milk

In Japan, health-conscious people use Shark fins for natural and good health. They think that Shark fins are rich with nanobodiesWHAT ARE NANOBODIES?. They considered the Shark fins as health promising, energetic, and aphrodisiac. This is the reason that Shark prices are very high in Japan. Fortunately, some recent studies have revealed that even better Nanobodies are found in the camel milk, considered richer than the Shark fins.Camel! A One in All Creatures

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A single-domain antibody (sdAb, called Nanobody by Ablynx, the developer) is an antibody fragment consisting of a single monomeric variable antibody domain. Like a whole antibody, it is able to bind selectively to a specific antigen.

A famous chef name Chinn (protecting Shark) even claimed “Shark’s fin soup has no taste! You take fins off a shark and you don’t really get anything. There’s no value except what you’re paying for.” Camel milk can be a good source of NB and reasonable replacement to the Shark fins. Hence, we can say that Japan and Korean Peninsula can be the new and emerging market for camel milk.

I started this debate as a brainstorming and a new thought.

shark fins

Camel Milk
Milking a camel at Sheikh Zayed Festival Abu Dhabi UAE

Camel Peace Caravan for Conservation of Unique Tamarix Forest

The Lasbela region is covered with more than 12% with wide flora diversity, especially unique Tamarix and Jar species. The woodcutter brutally cut these precious forest trees and sell at very cheaper rates in the nearby towns. Hence, deforestation is happening in a very speedy way. With an appealing thematic area, I am trying to divert woodcutter camel communities to use the camel as a touristic opportunity. From main RCD road to the river of Kerri, there is a long camel route, now declared as camel peace caravan. In this way, the camel woodcutters will divert from their hard job to a nice and easy job of the camel caravan. I hope, we can attract more and more people to enjoy this unique touristic opportunity.Tamarix Forest

As a starting point, I and other two colleagues from the Lasbela University started first Camel peace caravan from the campus to Kerri on 3rd May (2014) and came back the next day. All the pictures are already released on my facebook page. The link is given above in the camel peace caravan.

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Camel is an integral part of the Balochistan’s culture and heritage. Lasbela region of Balochistan is well known for its culture, heritage, and camels. Rich with a wide diversity of flora and fauna, Lasbela is the home tract of two camel breeds (cultural notion). Both breeds are briefly discussed in the ensuing lines.

a. Lassi; It is a pack animal, mostly use for wood and other types of transportation, especially use by wood cutters. The animal is also used for meat production. This camel is widely used for meat in the region. The demand for the male animal is quite high at the Islamic ritual of Eid Adha which is one of the main support for the conservation and development of this breed. As its role as a beast of burden is diminishing, the demand for its meat is the future hope for this precious breed. Lassi Breed of Camel In Balochistan

Lasi camel breed
Milking Camel of Lassi Breed in their true habitat

b. Bhirdi; The tribe of breed keepers and camel breed names are the same. This camel is usually used for riding in deserted ecosystems. It is smart and unique animal and milk is by-product use by the pastoralists in the weathers when others animals’ milk is ceased.

Bhirdi Camel Breed
Author riding race camel of Bhirdi breed

Camel is still and will be an integral part of the Lai people’s culture. To advocate the role of the camel in its true habitat of Lasbela, this precious animal can be a very useful source of earning for the marginalized people. Otherwise, they will continue the process of deforestation which will be a great loss for the precious biodiversity of the hot spot of coastal landscape of the country. Camel peace caravan is one of the important initiatives not only to halt deforestation but also to use this animal of peace for the further strengthening of peace and brotherhood in the region.

International Camel Conference at Islamia University Bahawalpur Pakistan

The International Camel Conference (ICC) under the patronage of Camel Association of Pakistan and the Islamia University of Bahawalpur was organized in Baghdad campus of Islamia University (19-21 Dec 2013). Bahawalpur being the city of the great Thar desert and home of camel culture was the right choice for this event. Many scientists, research scholars, camel herders and students from different universities and institutions participated in this important event on the camel. Many animal scientists, students and camel herders from Balochistan province also participated.

Marrecha camel safari caravan passing nearby the Dirawarr Forte
Camel is the unique heritage of the region Cholistan

FAO Balochistan chapter sponsored a group of camel herders and L&DD officials to participate in the conference. The conference was very versatile of its nature, not only covered the camel science but provided a good opportunity to camel people to know about the camel culture of great Thar desert which is famously known as the Cholistan. The vice-chancellor of the IslamiUniversityty (Dr Iftikhar) was very kind and humble while providing all the best facilities and opportunities to the conference participants. Camel scientists from 7 different countries also participated.The Desert’s Livestock Species Have Tremendous Potential for Milk Produciton

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The scientists presented their work on camel culture, milk production potential, milk characteristics, camel breeds and breeding, diseases and economic opportunities etc. The local media covered the event in a very nice way and kept the country audience and viewers aware regarding the conference. At the end of the camel conference, the following recommendations were suggested.

  • To maintain camel genetic and production diversity with the involvement of the camel herders and policymakers
  • To maintain camel habitats, especially Cholistan desert intact and safe from land grabbing etc
  • The slogan of ‘DESERT SHOULD REMAIN THE DESERT‘ was given for Eco-conservation of Camels and ‘SAVE PASTROLISM
  • More interaction development among the camel people, camel scientists and policymakers should initiate
  • Research on camel diseases and other health issues should initiate and coordinate with the international bodies in this field
  • Publication of full-length articles of the abstracts received in ICC-2013 in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Industry Liaison for Value Addition of camel products
  • Enhanced collaboration with foreign camel researchers and institute

IMG_2082[1].jpgCamel conference was a great opportunity, except the bad weather with the heavy fog. At the end of the conference, the meeting of the CAP was organized and some decisions were made. The decisions of the CAP are given in the ensuing lines.

  • The foreign scientist (not more than 5) will be invited purely on merit basis to make it more worthwhile and fruitful
  • The meeting was held on 21st Dec at 8 pm
  • I suggested a seminar (with very specific title) and with very specific number of participants
  • The seminar will be in the month of Jan or Feb 2015, as the next ISOCARD is in June 2015 Almatay Kazakhstan
  • The venue of the meeting will be decided later but most probably, Karachi, Uthal, Quetta or Lahore
  • CAP member list will be compiled according to the registered members in 3 categories, i.e.
  1. category A. Scientist/Activist/NGOs
  2. Category B. Camel Herders
  3. Category C. Students
  • Next election will be held on the occasion of the Seminar in 2015
  • The CAP registration amount, other income and expenditure if any, will be compiled and will be present to the cabinet
  • A Skype/online consultative meeting of the willing CAP members or other scientists to highlight/fix and mention the priority areas on camel in Pakistan

I am very pleased now, as the importance of camel is being appreciated in Pakistan. In the climate change context and challenge of food security; camel is the best choice to accept these challenges.

Policy Level Initiatives are Needed for Camel Milk in Pakistan

Camels4Life…. Advocacy for camel keepers is the immense need of time. They should take on board while making policies for food and agriculture, especially about camels.camel for blog

When I started camel research in 2005, very little  information was available on the camel in Pakistan. Very few among the city dwellers were aware of the peculiarities of camel milk, especially milk. There we no information available as a separate entity on camel milk in government economic survey etc. Camel milk was considered as other milk than cow and buffalo.

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The policy makers were completely blank about the camel and its role in Pakistan. I completed my research/thesis of Ph.D. on this unique animal and proved its value as a live animal, role of products and also role in culture and heritage. The camel is getting more and more importance. Pakistani camel is now well documented in breeds and their worth is well defined. Now there are many people who know about camel importance in the cities also. The camel herders already knew it since centuries. My article on a camel as unique and fascinating animal played a pivotal role in camel promotion.

Kohi Camel Caravan

http://saves.org.pk/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=20

Yesterday I visited a camel milk shop in Karachi. It was a great pleasure for me to see a shop with camel milk. The camel is the next superfood indeed and I’m glad that the general public awareness in this regard is increasing. I am so proud and confident of my voice as strong and loud. Superfood (Camel Milk) can Beat the Challenge of Superbug (Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics)

Camel as a Gift to cricket team of Pakistan

Camel is a useful and pivotal animal in its habitats all over the world. Best suited to drylands, camel is a unique animal providing livelihood and cultural luxury to the inhabitants of that region.camel had been using as a gift of dowry but first time in history gifted as the reward to the cricket players. Finance Minister of Balochistan province of Pakistan announced to give camel to each cricket player of Pakistani team as the reward for winning series from India. We the camel people are happy as the camel is getting importance among the policy makers and politicians of the country.Image

National Goat Show in Pakistan, The Story of Makhi Cheni Betal Breed

Organized and reported by Dr. Sajjad Khan

Dr. Sajjad Khan is a well-known scientist and currently working as Prf. and Dean faculty of Animal Husbandry, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad Pakistan.

National goat show concluded here at Faisalabad (Pakistan) last evening on 21st October. It was very well attended the show as 663 animals competed for various beauty, weight and milk competitions. Beauty competitions were breed wise. Individual (male or female), pairs (breeding male and a breeding female) and flock (five adult females + 1 breeding male) competitions were held apart from goat kid beauty competition which was across breeds.

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Makhi Cheeni Beetal (MCB) breed from Bahawalnagar

Represented breeds were various strains of Beetal (Faisalabadi, Makhi-Cheeni, Nuqri and Nagri strains), Nachi-the dancing goat (Boora, Sawa, Makra and Bulahi strains) and Diara Din Panah (Kala and Shera strains). Single strains of Barbari, Pak-Angora, and Teddy breeds also competed. While beauty competitions were within, weight and milk competitions were across breeds. Breeders and goat keepers competed for cash prizes, trophies and certificates and just for fun. The show was supported by my University, GEF-UNEP-ILRI FAnGR Asia project and the Directorate of Small Ruminants, Government of Punjab.

Animals started arriving on 18th and 90% had reached by 19th. Animals from the host district arrived on 20thmorning as well. As some had taken a 10-hours journey, rest was needed especially for milking goats. Competitions continued till late into the evening on 20th. The goat kid competition, held for the first time (to promote goat as a pet) was conducted on 21st, the day for prizes and trophies. Some 50 goat kids competed and were paraded (actually allowed to move around for about a minute) before young boys and girls (between 5-8 years of age) who were our no-card guests/visitors and had even helped farmers in handling goats during flock competitions.

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Mature Buck of Makhi Cheeni Beetal

Some 50 were randomly selected from about 90+ boys and girls present. We had 50 red ribbons to be worn to the goat kids. Every kid was individually explained to not follow his/her friends or parents (some had come) for making his/her choice, rather his/her own likeness. While farmers kept sitting with their goat kids, judges (boys and girls) marched in front from one side to the other and selected their champion. Some had done it while animal science students (girls) were tagging the goat kids in the start, while others did it on the spot. Nuqri goat kid won the first position with 7 ribbons followed by Makhi-Cheeni and Barbari goat kids. It is worth mentioning that many goat kids were purchased by the local residents’ price ranging between 80 and 400 USD/animal at the end of the goat show.

 

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MCB lactating doe can produce up to 10 kg milk per day

 

 

Highest weight was 179kg of a Beetal  (Faisalabadi) buck while highest milk yield was of a Beetal Makhi-Cheeni goat producing 4 liters of milk on a voluntary intake as owners were not allowed to offer anything and competing goats remained in the custody of organizing committee before the beginning of emptying of udders till the last milking. Similar restrictions were imposed in weight competition. This was not a kidding season for goats because in our March competition last year, amount of milk by the winning goat was around 8 liters.

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The most deficient information seemed to be scoring the dancing gait of Nachi goats while a lot of indigenous knowledge (apart from the typical nose and longer neck, foot sole was desirable to be visible while animal walks, as narrated by a Nachi farmer) awaits documentation. Love for this breed could be judged talking to a 70-year-old farmer who had raised this breed since he was 10. I hope to learn from him and similarly knowledgeable farmers in future.

 

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Deep colored spotted MCB breed pregnant yearling

 

The show was telecasted live by at least five television channels. Introduction of Nagri strain of Beetal was the pleasant surprise for technocrats and so was the introduction of a colored strain of Diara Din Panah (Shera strain) which was even more attractive than the traditional black strain. Bucks with their cock screw longhorns, massive bodies (~100kg) and long hair really gave a dangerous look (as a friend called them terrorists). New strains of Nachi were also worth watching.  It looks we need to redefine breeds to incorporate farmers standards and available. Information available in booklets on various breeds looks quite distant from reality.

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Best animal of the show was a DDP buck (black strain). The best breeder was Mr. Nazir Masih with exceptionally good animals (1st in milk competition, 1st in flock beauty competition for MCB breed and 1st in individual female beauty competition in MCB breed).

 

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8 Month old MCB female

 

As always it was a very pleasant and rewarding to organize and conduct a goat show. Interaction and exchange of ideas with farmers is an asset. Few photos are attached. More photos with video clips will soon be posted at project website  (http://fangrpk.org/).

Dr. M. Sajjad Khan

Professor

Dept. Animal Breeding and Genetics

University of Agriculture Faisalabad 38040

PAKISTAN

Camel Milk Competition in Cholistan

Camel milk competition concluded last evening here in Cholistan desert (of Pakistan). It was quite interesting in many ways and I felt that at least I should share some of its salient features. It started on 12th October and concluded on 14th. Some 40 camels (locally called Dachis) contested and some owners had more than one. All animals were towards the end of their lactation. The size of the calf also matched with this narration. First thing was that it was not the best time for such competitions because camels generally calve in Jan/Feb/March and better time could have been April/May.Barela Camel is the Milk Line of Riverine Pakistan
 These Breela camels won the milk competition in Punjab Pakistan
The participants were not just the men and grownup boys as happens with our cattle/buffalo competitions in March every year. Rather families were there. Milkers combinations were man and wife or man and daughter or mother and daughter or mother and son etc. It was heartening to see these lively families. Amma Pathani (Mom Pathani) was very prominent. She contested like other men and forced even me (the chief judge) to announce results of every camel first in the local dialect, then in local language and then in national language as it was difficult for her (and other contestants, mostly unable to read or write) to wait for more than few seconds. So I had to round things for announcing and remain precise on paper. Her camel got 4th position and was given a special prize. Milk yield (once a day milking, recorded for two days) for 1st, 2nd and 3rd position camels was 17.1 (Bawali), 15.7 (Katti) and 15.1 (Malookan.  I wonder if they could produce at this level in 9-10th months of their lactation what would be the yield in the 2nd month after calving. We will see next year.
 Another important yet expected information was that most of these animals were 2nd and 3rd calvers with some 1st calvers and very few in later parities. Most belonged to either Barela (the dairy breed) or a cross between Barela and Marecha (the racing and dancing breed). Very few were Sindhi or crossbred Sindhis.
Camel dances at the event were worth watching. We had to walk on sand (with camels on our back) about 2 km to the prize distribution ceremony and dances continued. People seemed drunk with camel milk as they did not stop for a second. Age was not a limiting factor. It ranged from ~4 to >80.
 An important announcement is that next year’s camel milk and dance competitions will coincide (conclude) with the camel day, 22nd June. As announced previously, camel conference is planned next year at Bahawalpur and site of milk competition is just 35 km from the city.
Camels from Pakistan are going to Gulf and even to France (for camel milk chocolate) but without a proper breeding and replacement system, my fear is that sustainability issue will haunt in future. Exploitation of camel herders is also feared. Thanks to all those who kept encouraging and were even trying to see everything through sound waves. We will try to post on this discussion forum as the next year events unfold. Few photos are placed. More photos with videos will be posted on http://fangrpk.org.
Reported by
Dr. M. Sajjad Khan
Professor/National Project Director
Dept. Animal Breeding and Genetics
University of Agriculture Faisalabad 38040
PAKISTAN