- Many scientific articles published in well-reputed journals.
- Camel milk made more space for the food table at global level
- The healing aspects of camel milk are appreciated from many corners
- Some regional camel conferences
- Some more PhDs created on camels’ issues.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As you all know, 22nd June is world camels’ day. I have asked from my camel colleagues all over the world to send their success stories regarding camels, events, picture etc. I have received pictures from Cecilia Norambuena from Chile. The pictures are about the landscape where the South American Camelids inhibit and also the camelids itself.
Here is what she wrote regarding the pictures she shot. “In temuco city, south of Chile, near to vulcanos, forestry and lakes (araucania region of Chile). Desserts are at north of our country. We need at least 6 days to visit the places where camelids live. Look at the pictures that i topk today”.
The camelids are shy and alert animals. They are very special and beautiful.
The lucky and happy camelids in their habitat. Blessed with beauty, the unique habitat.
The beautiful camelids are going back to their pavilion.
Any body from any part of the world can share his/er stories, either pictures, stories or success report. I’m looking forward to hear from you soon…
HAPPY WORLD CAMEL DAY….
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.
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.
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.
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)
Indigenous/local livestock Species/breeds are well adapted to the dry and marginal lands of the world. Such breeds use the scarce resources of such lands and produce high valued and precious products for food. Among such adapted livestock species, camel is the most important one and is well appreciated in this regards. Camel is highly adapted to such dry and marginal lands, ensuring the livelihood of the millions of people. Camel is not only an efficient biological machine of the difficult environment but can be a solution for many difficult questions (drought, climate change, water and feed scarcity and food security challenge) of the future.
Camel uses water and feed resources very sensibly under very harsh and hostile environmental conditions. Camel is a very effective biological model, needs very scarce inputs and produce efficiently more than other livestock on per unit feed/water consumption. Details about the unique characteristics of camel can be revising from the following link: http://www.articlesbase.com/nature-articles/a-unique-and-fascinating-creature-the-camel-4217611.html
In spite of all its characteristics camel is neglected animal among the policymakers both at national and international levels. Such negligence is resulting in the sinking of camel culture and there is a severe camel decline in some Asian countries, especial South East Asia. In the near past and present, the importance of camel is well realized and documented at different levels. Many scientific works of literature were produced to highlight camel importance on various aspects of camel, especially camel genetic resources and its milk production potential. Many camel projects were initiated and still continue on camel milk and other aspects in different parts of the world. To highlight the importance of camel and its challenges, a world camel day was proposed by the author and ultimately 22 June was declared as world camel day. Camel day will be celebrated in many parts of the world by camel scientists and activist to highlight it as an integral part of biodiversity and efficient biological model in the dry and deserted lands of the world.
Camels4Life, International Society of Camelids Research and Development (ISOCARD), Camel Association of Pakistan (CAP), Society of animal, vet and environmental scientists (SAVES) and LIFE Network Pakistan is going to celebrate this day by conducting seminars and media campaign in Pakistan. A page on Facebook is composed and the link is given below.
- A link about the theme of the world camel day (2018) The Camel Milk Story from the Gobi Desert Mongolia
As UN is celebrating the decade of Biodiversity, it is very in place to celebrate camel day and correlate it with the decade of biodiversity. Camel is very integral part of the world’s biodiversity and not harmful for flora/vegetation as camel takes few bites and walk to the other plant. Camel pad is like the cushion and not harmful for the plants in the rangelands and desert.
I’m hereby thankful to all camel scientists and activists who supported me for declaring a world camel day. I appeal to all the camel stakeholders, either they are herders, scientists or activist to take the active part in celebrating world camel day and to raise awareness about the uniqueness of camel and its products.