Tag Archives: Balochistan

Balochistan is a province of Pakistan

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.

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

Lassi Breed of Camel In Balochistan

Lassi camel is found in coastal area of Balochistan and Sindh. The climate of the region is hot and humid. Camel is not only use for transportation but also found as separate herds and is main livestock activity. The camel herders purely dependent on camels and earn daily needs from it.

Lassi Breed of Camel In Balochistan

The author with Lassi breed camels in Wayar Bela

The camel thrieve on the local vegetation, the main flora is Tamarix. The keepers of the Lassi breeds use this breed for livelihood earning and the milk is the most important source of food for them.

Lassi breed 1.jpg

The breed is multipurpose and found in different colors combinations

For more details, please go to the link below.

https://camel4all.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/lassi-camel-breed/

 

Raidi or Jathnasal Camel breed of Balochistan

This breed of camel purely belongs to a pastoral community of Jath. They are entirely pastoral and move on the Kachhi basin and reach to Sindh province of Pakistan in winter and in summer they reach up to their destination in the Bolan hills. According to them, Berrela breed of Thal (a small desert in Punjab province of Pakistan) and Cholistan is the offshoot of their breed (Raidi).

ImageThere is a very touchy story about the Raidi breed, as they (pastoralists) said that when the Muslim pilgrims of the sub-continent had been travelling with their camels’ caravan to Makka, that time the Raidi pastoralists were the main providers of energetic fresh camel to the Hajis (pilgrims) and to take their sick, injured camels to take rest and get well. After returning from Hajj, the pilgrims were to hand over their camel back to pastoralists and have to take their own camels. In this way, they said that the Raidi camel has the genetic characters of all the camel breeds of the sub-continent because of the breeding with the bulls of the sub-continental camels.

Riadi camel is good in milk, highly resistant to the extremely hot weather of the region, well suited for work in the agricultural field and resistant to many diseases. The camel is the heaviest in the region and weight up to 700 kg. Image

Problems and Constraints of Indigenous Livestock Keepers of Balochistan

Livestock keeping is one of the main agricultural activity in the historic grazing lands of Balochistan. More than 50% of the native people of the province rely (completely or partially) on livestock. The region is the cradle of livestock breeds domestication, later on, evolved with the tune of climate change and consumers’ demand for the livestock products. Today the livestock keepers of the province have very specialized livestock breeds fulfilling the multipurpose breeding goals of the keepers. In spite of all their good role they play, the livestock keepers of here are neglected, discouraged and left unattended. The main issues are hereby raised in the ensuing lines. 

Decreasing potential of rangelands: Rangelands production potential had been decreased manifold because of the long drought periods and overgrazing. Deforestation made the situation adverse more than ever. The vegetation of the rangelands had been removing for fuel wood very continuously. Both the types and intensity of vegetation had been decreased resulted in dryness and desertification. Due to stress on grazing lands, concurrent droughts, and deforestation, the land has already been prone to erosion resulted in low water absorption. The animal with low-quality feed intake resulted in lower health, poor quality product and prone to diseases. All the above factors increased the intensity of poverty and many more families crossed the line of poverty.

Our customary laws are one of the important tools, which can be used for the protection of the rangeland’s vegetation. Pargorr is our traditional way of conservation and an important article of our customary law. Due to the weak control of government and destabilization of the social tribal system, some problem arising with the application of the customary law. The government had been serving since British era to implement customary laws strictly. Also due to the instability in Afghanistan and other border areas, the irregular movement of the Afghan nomad has worsened the situation.

Water scarcity: Water scarcity is one of the major issues in the province. Water sources are very scarce especially in the uplands of the mountains and deep desert. Though, sometimes feed is available but when the animal reaches there they can’t reach back to the water source.

Lack of animal health facilities: New disease appeared in the register of livestock diseases of the area due to drought, low vigor, zoonotic, i.e. PPR, a new form of FMD, CCHF, udder decay disease and the newest is diarrhea with water comes from the mouth. These diseases have been resulting in the loss of millions of livestock. The intensity of the diseases like anthrax, HS, Enterotoxaemia, FMD, pox, CCPP has increased many folds. The vaccine in most of the cases is not available and there are no diagnostic labs, if available either not equipped or no staff is available. Livestock vanishes with the consequences of diseases and nobody responsible for that.

Lack of modern knowledge and skills: Social, environmental, anthropological changes are affecting our way of production. Modern technologies and media affect our life resulting in social change resulting in flying families from livestock keeper’s community and migrating to urban areas. This dilemma is resulting in creating pressure on the urban resources. Decreased number of livestock keepers, social change.DSC03458

Also, the human population is increasing speedily because of social changes and put more pressure on natural resources. Our forefathers had been keeping family size according to the livestock number the family owned, but the situation is changed now. The changes in the environment have been badly affected our lifestyle and production system. The concurrent droughts, fast winds, creeping desertification had made the situation complex. There are modern techniques to coup with such circumstances in the other parts of the world but the livestock keepers of the province are deprived of it.

Lack of education in our production system is one of the major social problems. The government has no solution to provide education to our kids in the prevailing conditions of our livestock production system. We left behind of all basic needs like education and health. There is no quota for the livestock keepers in the animal health and husbandry education.

Drip loss of precious animal genetic resources: Foreigners especially traders from Gulf region are interested in buying the cream of the genetic resources with the help of the local administration and illegal traders (those who do not pay any tax etc). Also, the government organization import exotic breeds and crosses our precious well-adapted livestock breeds. In the last drought period, we learned that the indigenous breeds were many folds drought resistant to exotic breeds. This dilemma is very complex in cattle.

Marketing of our products: No rules and regulation of marketing, the livestock business benefits go in the pockets of the opportunists’ traders. Our products are organic in nature and have very high value in international markets, but there is nobody in the country to argue for our products.DSC01968

Policies without the livestock keepers: No share in policies related to livestock and genetic resources. The Government and other agencies’ policies apply from top to bottom approach and the keepers are not asking to share their views and concerns. The policies remain unsustainable and completely fail in a short period. The distribution and restocking of livestock project are the eminent examples in this regard.

Conclusion: In my view, one of the main problem (the root of the issues) is the low/zero participation of the native livestock breeders in the fabrication of policies and implementation of development projects for livestock development. All the definitions and concept regarding the management, breeding, feeding and sustainable development of livestock are derived from the western school of thought. The western school of thought for livestock is mainly based on high input and intensive farming with specialized breeds and feeding system. Such concepts are very hard to fit in the extensive, low input and multipurpose system.

Taking on board the livestock keepers for livestock development can bring cool breeze in this sector, though the process will take a bit longer time.

Lessons learnt from droughts in North-eastern Balochistan

We are the custodian of the livestock breeds, so we tried our best as our ancestors did to save it at any cost.

The first possible solution for the problem to save livestock in hard years we found is culling of the larger herd/flocks. To sell out the sick, old, weak and unproductive animals in the start of the dry period is an important tool to fight against the drought. Spend the money gained through the sale of the culled animals on the feeding and health of the animals.

We learnt that we must divide the livestock specie wise, i.e. sending the goat flocks to the high mountains along with the donkeys and young vigorous family members. There was still vegetation in the mountains but there was scarcity of water. The young men can convey water on the donkey back to the goat in remote as the indigenous goat consumes lesser amount of water. Movement of the camel to the remote is also the solution for saving camel. The camel can consume woody vegetation in the remote highlands and can resist water scarcity.

We learnt that camel is the main solution for the drought period. Camel can reach to the remote water point after a long period of grazing. The remote vegetation can be judiciously consume by camel in winter as camel need water once in a week in winter. The camel is also fit for traveling and transportation of family luggage in the inaccessible areas of the mountainous ecology of our region.

Animal health cure is also very important in the dry years, as the weak and emaciated animals are more prone to disease.

Morak Goat Breed of the Chaghai Kharan Desert

Habitat: Chaghai Kharan desert especially Raskoh mountains of the region is the home track of the breed. The breed is very close to its wild ancestors. There are many tribes, rearing this breed of goat, which are Badeni, Muhammad Hasani, Maingul, Jamaldini, Sasoli, Sanjrai, Nothezi, Nausherwani, Malangzai, Siafad, Faqirzai, Hajizai,.

Phenotypic characteristics: The goat has medium size with black body coat, very rare specimen with white color is also found. The long curled horns, especially in the male with beard are the salient feature of the breed. The goat also produces reasonable amount of milk.

Vegetation: Vegetation of the area liked by the goat is comprising of Ghaz (Tamarix Articula), shrub as Taghaz (Haloxylon Amodendron), bushes like Hashwarg (Rhozya Stricta), Pog (Calegnum Polygonaides) Cotor (Stockcia Brohinca), Lara (Salsola Kali), Kandar (Alhogi Camelarum), Barshonk, Karwankush, Narronk (Salsola Arbuscula), Tusso (Gaillaina Aucheri) and grasses like Mughair (Atriplex Dimprphostegium), Kash (Sacchorum Siliare), Righith (Suoeda Monica) Shanaluk (Allium Rubellum). etc.The Ice Cream Species of Plants for the Camel and Goat. Part 1Part 2. Ice Cream Species of Plants for the Camel and Goat

Population: Population of the breed is almost 0.5 million. The population trend is increasing. Morak breed is one of the badly affected goat breeds in the province by the previous drought (1998-2003), as the drought was very severe in this ecological zone.Effects of Drought on Livestock Sector in Balochistan Province of Pakistan

Special Traits:

  • Close to its wild ancestors
  • It is very accessible to inaccessible areas for grazing, i.e. the peaks of the mountains
  • The animal is very alert and fast running, hence can’t be eaten by pest and predators. More close to wild ancestors
  • High milk production in harsh environment of the region in a very low input system of the ordinary grazing

Option Hopes: Close relation to its wild ancestors.

Morak goat of Kharan Washuk region

Economic importance: The most important breed for livelihood earning of the pastoral livestock keepers of the region. It provide milk in the harsh environment when the sheep milk yield ceased. It also provides cash by selling it, when the livestock keepers need cash money. The animal may attain good weight and attract good prices because of its more meat and height.