Farmers Hardship Under the Establishment’s Eyes

This year (2017), we noticed a stinging acceleration in the prices of certain agricultural commodities like Onion (from the June until now) and tomato (September to date) in Pakistan. During the same period, such products remained at the lowest prices in India. The higher prices of these commodities in Pakistan were because of the closure of the Durand Line, the weathering extremities, and the higher demand for those items.

Who Suffer

The Farmer in India & Afghanistan and the consumer in Pakistan

One can see interesting but annoying pictures throughout in the region on the internet. In India, the farmer throwing the tomato and onion on the roads as a show of anger, while the people in Pakistan are struggling to manage tomato and onion for family use.

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Onioned was thrown and crushed in India for their low prices
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The tomato crisis in Pakistan

Interestingly, when the prices of tomato were low in Pakistan, that time the prices were high in India and the same was for the onion. I just gave the example of 2 products otherwise there are many examples.

The Root Cause of the Problem

The farmers are not the part of the policy-making process. They are out of the decision making forums. The policies are driven by the people whom interest lies in the wars and conflicts. On both sides of the border, the policy-making is in the hand of powerful establishments to keep the tension alive and strengthen their vested interests.

For the establishment, the troubled relationship is a better source of income but the masses suffer. As a personal experience, I the establishment wants to weaken the farmers to grab their land and other resources. Usually, such people when retired from their jobs, start the business of the real estate and buy the lands from the farmer and change into the concrete jungle.

The Solution, if any?

A strong and influential voice of the farmers on the both side can mak the change.

 

Unique Style of Good transport at Farm ~ Commercial Dairying in Karachi City of Pakistan

bull cartUnique Style of Good transport at Farm ~ Commercial Dairying in Karachi City of Pakistan

They use bull/steer Cart for traction at farm. Thari breed is considered as best for traction with a traction power of 3.6 ton. There are about 10 traction bulls at the farm.

Mushrooming of Commercial Dairying in Karachi City of Pakistan

A case study from Sindh Dairy Farm (SDF), Karachi-Hyderabad Highway Karachi

This study is based on the information provided by the owner (Jameel Memon) and many workers at the farm.

Overview of Dairying in Karachi: Karachi is the hub of semi-commercial dairy in the country. There almost one million lactating animals (60:40 ratio of buffalo and cattle) while producing approximately 8 thousand tons milk per day (average 8 liters/animal/day). There are almost 22,500 milk outlets in the city. The milk is sold as fresh without pasteurization or other treatment. The consumers prefer to buffalo milk.

Dairy Animal Composition

The ration among dairy animal is 60:40 of buffalo and cows respectively. The total animals at the farm are 9000 including beef cattle. About 3000 are lactating (33% in milk) animal, 500 beef animal and rest are comprised of all ages including heifers, dry animals, youngsters, and calves etc. Buffalo has mainly comprised of Kundi breed followed by Nili-Ravi. According to the respondent, the best buffalo at their farm is Kundi with Badeeni strain (type). Such type of Kundi breed is called as Kundi chorrh. Following Badeeni strain, Nili-Ravi with its appealing characteristics of wide cylindrical body and white patches (forehead, muzzle, foot and switch of tail) is one of the best buffalo at the farm. Other salient features of Bedeeni and Nili Ravi are the easy milkings, longer lactation length, thick milk and friendly behavior of the animal.

The dairy cows are comprised of pure Holstein Friesian and its crosses with the native cattle breeds, especially, Cholistani, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi and Thari. According to the performance records and respondents at the farm, the F1 cross of Cholistani and HF is one of the best choices both for milk yield and adaptation to the climatic conditions.

Identification and Ethnoterminology

There is no special identification system, especially for beef animals. The beef animals are mostly identified on the basis of their colors and ethnoterminology. Some interesting ethnic names are given below.

Badel, Nukra, Nchi, Reema, Malang, etc

Some are tagged with factory made plastic tags. The tags are imported from New Zealand with laser technology printing. The name of the company is Zee Tag.  There is no software for identification, tracing etc. Two separate types of identification are use for cattle and buffalo. The tag system is useful for data about dead, culled, sick, dry, pregnant, lactating etc animals. The treatment is then easy. They identify the animal with long lactation and short lactation period are being differentiated. Common word of the tag was SDF (abbreviation for Sindh Dairy Farm).

 Milk Production Potential at Farm Level

According to the farm statistics and other findings, the cow produces more milk than buffalo. The cow produces 14 liters/day (305-day lactation), while buffalo produces 8 liters/day in the same period. The farm has remarkable achievement and experience with the crossing of HF with Cholistani (HFXC) F1 and other native cattle as mentioned above. The best performance is proved by HFXC F1 with a production record of 54 liters per day as the maximum. The owner also praised the performance of Red Swedish with a yield of 80 liters per day.

They practice test day milk recording system at the interval of 18 and 19 days. The test day method for milk recording is an easy and handy approach for such a large herd like SDF. The good dairy characteristics are alertness, pearl eyes, slim and smart body, clear cut head and friendly behaImagevior.

The milk is sold on a daily basis and sent to the city outlets in big tanks. Moreover, the farm has 4 chillers with a capacity 1000 liter each. Hand milking is practiced and 12 animals are milked by a milker daily. Almost 250 milkers work at the farm, which is probably the unique of its kind throughout the world.

Selection and Management of Future Dairy Animal

Future heifers are selected on the basis of their parental performance (pedigree record). They simply select female calves with good health; alertness and pedigree performance (milk production of 20-22 liter/daily). Also, some other traits like udder structure (of their mother), teats placement, easy milking etc are also considered. Bull is only selected for crossbred cows with the criteria discussed above. For pure breeds, semen is imported from the companies within the country and abroad.

Housing and adaptation

Wide paddock with open barns is the major housing facility at farms. Some big barns with double row tail to the tail system are also constructed for HF and other exotic breeds. It was noticed that HF and other exotic breeds are feeling more heat than the other and some were found with labor breathing. They do not feel good when temperature crosses 40 °C. The weather of the region is hot and humid in summer.

Calf care and feeding;

They offer colostrums just after birth. If they do not take it, it is offered then through canola orally. They do not practice milk replacer or other supplementary feed to the calves. They keep calves on whole milk for 60 days. According to them, such practice is security to the calf health and vigorous future crop. They do not inject booster or other stimulating hormones except that of Oxytocin.

Feed and feeding

A mixture of green roughages with wheat straw is offered throughout the year. Total Mix Ration (TMR) is also offered to the dairy animals according to the milk yield. TMR is formulated and prepared at nutrition section of the farm. They use maize, pulses, soya meal, rice noodles (expired), canola meal, palm cake, cotton seed cake, wheat bran, rice polish, molasses etc for TMR production. They offer salt stone in the manger. Fresh water is provided ad lib and round the clock.

Unique Style of Good transport at Farm

They use bull/steer Cart for traction on the farm. Thari breed is considered as best for traction with a traction power of 3.6 ton. There are about 10 traction bulls at the farm.

Manure Management and Traditional Knowledge

The manure is dried in the open paddock and use for bedding of the animals. The extra manure is being sold to the garden farmers of banana and mango @ 500 PKR per truck. Such price is very minimal if compare to the prices in other parts of the country.

As a traditional practice, manure use for fumigation, fly repletion, ticks and other external parasites control at the farm. The ashes of the manure are spread in the barns to control ticks and other parasites. Manure act as the biological control. They seldom use the chemical for fly and insects control. Chickens are also used for tick control and also are used as game birds by the employees residing over there.

Prophylaxes and Health Care

A veterinarian with Para-veterinary Staff is available to treat animals systematically. Febrile and respiratory diseases are the major ailments at the farm. Only vaccination for FMD and Pneumonia are practiced.

Conclusion

Pakistan is one of the largest milk producing country in the world. The demand for milk is ever increasing because of many reasons. The gap between demand and supply of milk is widening. Also, efficiency gap between potential and production is very wide. To fulfill such gaps, modernization is on its way in the dairy husbandry of the country. Commercial, semi-industrial and industrial enterprises are being introduced to replace rural based subsistence dairying. SDF is a unique example of its kind about semi-industrial dairy production. There are many challenges and gaps in such systems, need to fulfill for the abundant and secure supply of country’s masses.

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)

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 17,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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

 

The ‘Goat Walk’ of Dancing Goats and Turbans

A public letter of Dr. Sajjad Khan. He is Professor and Chairman of the Animal Breeding and Genetics  Department, University of Agriculture Faisalabad.

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Dear colleagues

Catwalks and bull walks are common vocabulary terms yet, ‘goat walk’ may be something new for many of you debating conservation and improved utilization of animal genetic resources, every day. We here in Pakistan are bombarded with information relevant to many negative events, perhaps to keep a common person surprised and vulnerable. The sober events are rarely reported and of course, if ‘dignitaries’ are missing in such events, print and electronic media do not waste space. Of course, there may be more thrilling events than goats wearing turbans.

We are rich in genetic diversity. Language changes after a crew flight and so are the goat breeds which are at least 36. Since we are executing a goat conservation effort, I am happily reporting that people are trying to conserve a breed of goat called Nachi (dancing) through appreciation of its characteristic walk.

The shows are held in southern Punjab (Utch Sharif, District of Bahawalpur), the home track of the breed and our project area. The meat is the primary product while milk is also consumed but people keep the breed more for its unique dancing gait than the consumable products. For these shows, farmers gather from all the surrounding areas on foot, the evening before the show. The rehearsal is done that evening. Of course few come with tractors tied trollies to haul their goats and village supporters. ‘Goat walk’ is held early in the morning as heat is not bearable afterward and there are no tents or chairs.

For this event, held last week, there were 22 farmers and a number of goats per farmer varied between 3 and 20. One had to walk in front of the flock. You cannot carry a stick but can have wooden handle ax on your shoulder, most had. You cannot use your hands to guide goats. Can whistle or call goats verbally but not repeatedly. Walk about a 100 yard in front of semi circled chanting and gasping people with an occasional child or two crossing in front and return back to the starting point. A judge will follow your flock at a distance and may ask you to repeat the walk. Turning back should be as smooth as possible and flocks ability to keep intact and follow you will be judged by the judge. The leading goat (with a most beautiful walk) among the flock will be decorated with a white turban if you win (meet the minimums) and there was no limit on a number of winners. If all participating flocks had the ability to win a turban, all will be given a turban. Now you can dance (alone or with villagers) and give charity to drum beaters and kids and can even through currency in the air. Everything is on a self-help basis with the major contribution from a well to do locally. Every few villages seem to have one such person. Next time, we will try to have turbans for the owners as well.

A few years back Nachi was considered vulnerable. Out goat show last year also helped to bring it back. We plan the second national goat show this October and hope breeds such as Nachi are not vulnerable anymore. Let’s help people feel good of what they are doing by keeping and raising these indigenous breeds. Will report on National Goat Show being planned for this year in (October, 19-21) here at the University. Everybody is invited. Videos for this event will be posted on the project website (http://www.fangrpk.org/). Until then bye bye.

Best Regards

Sajjad

The Camels’ Milkvein and its Correlation with the Average Milk Yield

The Milk Vein of Camel

This picture was shot in Mangrota camel fair. This is Brella camel. One can see the the wide and long teats and very visible milk vein. This breed has promising quality of milk production. Very docile and a real milch breed.

There is wide difference among the camel scientists either the milk vein (length and diameter) is correlated to total milk yield or not. Some studies (Ayadi et al. 2013) has revealed that there is strong correlation between the udder morphology and total milk yield. On contrary, Eisa et al (2011) reported from Sudan that there is no correlation between the milk vein and total milk yield.

camel milk vien

Beside the opposite point of view, as a practitioner of camel dairy I have the experience of correlation between udder vein and milk yield though it is not that strong interaction. For some camels it is strong correlation while in the others it is nil.

In short, we can say that a prominent and big/wide milk vein if not directly link with the milk yield but it is a real dairy character in camels. Its gives the portrait of the healthy camel at least.

References

1. EISA, M, ABU-NIKHAILA, and MAJID. 2011. The Relationship Between Udder, Teats and Milk Vein Measurements with Daily Milk Yield in She-Camel (Camelus dromedaries). Online publication; http://nectarforum.com/index.php-The-Relationship-Between-Udder,-Teats-and-Milk-Vein-Measurements-with-Daily-Milk-Yield-in-She-Camel-(Camelus-dromedarius).html

2. Ayadi, Musaad, Samara, Abdelrahman, Alshaikh, Saleh, and Faye. 2013. Relationship between udder morphology traits, alveolar and cisternal milk compartments and machine milking performances of dairy camels (Camelus dromedaries). Online publication; http://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/4060

Art of Camel Hair Shearing~The Camels’ Attraction

The region of the Indo-Pak is rich with camel culture. Camel is an integral part of the heritage of the camel keepers’ communities in the region. As a source of livelihood, a camel is also a tool of recreation and entertainment also. This picture is about the haircut competition of great Thar desert. One can see the artistic theme of the designer/hair cutter.

The barbers make different designs according to the desire of the camel keepers/owners. Such designs are made by art loving, son of the soil, and very specialized barbers. The barbers are well known and have very busy days in the season. The season of the design is usually the cooler months of the year as the camel sheds his wool in the hotter months of the year. The complete design of a camel takes 2 to 5 hours, based on the size of the camel and the design of the art.

Barber making design on the camel body in Rajasthan.jpg

I would also like to add some more pictures of the camels with the hair designs and arts for the page from different sources.

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The barber has mad a design of the carpet on camel body

There are specific dates of the hair design festivals. In Rajasthan, the festival takes place every year in the month of January or late December and draws in camel breeders from all over Rajasthan, as well as tourists from all around the world.

rajasthan
The Beautiful Flowers are designed

In Pakistan, especially Sindh and Punjab (The Great Thar desert and adjoining parts), the designs are made on the camels some days before Eid-ul-Azha (the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice) are his busiest. The charges between two and three thousand rupees (about $15) for one camel. The barber below the name is Ali. Ali can do over 14 different designs based on the size and color of the camel. He does all this work with one simple pair of scissors. Please watch the video at the link below.

Pakistani Barber Creates Art On Camels

Unfortunately, this beautiful camel heritage is sinking, especially in Rajasthan. The faulty policies are materializing the sinking of the precious camel heritage. A Beautiful Camel Heritage is Sinking.

Reference

Camel Shearing at Bikaner Camel Festival

When You Realize What This Man Is Doing To This Camel, Your Jaw Will Hit The Floor.

Camel Fairs in Pakistan: A Case Study from Mangrota of Pakistan

Camel plays a very pivotal role in the life of the people of the northeastern Balochistan (Suleiman  mountainous region). The camel herders graze their camel herds all around the year on the woody vegetation of the mountains and in the month of October, they separate the camels ready for sale. The ready for sale animals are then moved to Mangrota camel fair. Mangrota camel fair is very famous among the camel breeders and is the main market for their camels. Mangrota is the town of Tehsil Taunsa, Dera Ghazi Khan (D.G.Khan) district of the Punjab province, Pakistan. The Mangrota camel Mela is held every year in the month of October and is the largest event of the year for the pastorals and traders of the region. The camels brought are predominantly white in color and are known as Kohi camel. These camels are mostly brought from the Suleiman Mountains and the adjoining areas. Mostly mature well-developed males of age more than 5 years are brought, but some cow camels and immature male and female are also brought.

The male matured draught animals acquire by the people of the high mountains for downloading timber wood, vegetables and the old and sick populace down to the roadsides or nearby towns. They carry their daily requirements by loading on camels to the peaks of the mountains where they live. These camels are moved from Mangrota camel Mela both on foot and by loading in trucks to Swat, Dir, Dera Ismail Khan (D.I Khan), Tribal areas & other parts of the NWFP province and some may reach to Afghanistan.Camels in Magrota

Location & History of Mangrota Fair
Mangrota is a town of Tehsil Taunsa, Dera Ghazi Khan (D.G.Khan) district of the Punjab province, Pakistan. Mangrota is situated at the terminal of the piedmont of Suleiman Mountain eastward. According to some elders and, Mela was previously called as Dosera, which was being held regularly at 16-23 October of each year. The Mela was purely a religious event of Hindu people before partition. Those times the camel was being used for bringing the Hindu families to the Mela place mainly on camel back, donkeys, and horses. A lot of camel, donkeys, and horses were being gathered at one place and the Mela gradually got importance as camel and other draught animal’s bazaar. After partition, the religious importance of the Mela diminished and the marketing importance still exists. The Mela is interesting for the camel herders, traders, businessmen, local healers of camel and other related people. Now the Mela has been declared as Camel Mela officially.Mangrota Camel Fair

Number and type of animals
Mela is for the camel but horses and donkeys are also brought. An increasing trend in the number of donkeys and horses has been observed. Camel comes here range from 8,000 to 10,000 every year. In the year 2006, the camel number was comparatively lesser than previous years due to the trouble in Maree and Bugti hills of Suleiman Mountains. The causes of the lesser number of traders participation were the rumors that this year the Mela will not be held because of the trouble in the Maree and Bugti area and the because of the month of Ramazan. In the year 2007, the camel number was higher than 2006 but the traders were lesser, because of the uncertainty in the Northern tribal area, where the majority of the camel goes.

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Business and Marketing System
The contract of the Mela is auctioned by D.G. Khan Municipal Corporation each year and contractor of the Mela charges 5 % of the cost of camel, which is paid by both the supplier and buyer or only one party pay the whole tax depending on the bargain. If someone found selling or buying an animal without paying the tax, will be punished eleven times of the actual tax. Broker charges of Rs. 400/ on each bargain (200 from each party) on the camel and a broker can make up to 25 bargains in a day. The traders paying for a camel.

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REGIONAL COOPERATION! An Approach for Camel Advocacy

Abstract
Camel is a precious animal genetic resource of drylands and harsh ecosystems of the globe. The camel is highly adapted to the difficult and hostile environment of its habitat. It also produces precious products, especially milk in a very low or even zero input production system. Such ecosystems and low input production model are highly hostile to other domestic animals and difficult for survival, especially the exotic breeds.
Camel has a unique physiology enabling it to survive in such hostile conditions. Feed and water scarcity is the salient feature of the regional ecosystems, minimizing our choices for other livestock production. Such conditions enforce us to work on a camel and transform it into a good farm machine rather a beast of burden. We have rare opportunities and camel is the best choice to use as a tool to beat food security challenge in the climate change scenario. Camel! A One in All Creatures
The production traits are highly variable, especially milk production which ranges from 4 to 40 kg/day. The camel products – especially the milk – are unique and of high quality. The camel milk is now well accepted for its worth at international levels. Many efforts are underway to promote camel milk. Camel dairying is getting popularity and its products are highly demanded health and wellbeing.
More than 90% of the camel in the region are kept and reared by the pastoral communities. The production system is based on open grazing and mobile herding. Pastoral peoples and other camel keepers carry the entire burden of preserving the camel for the future. They face severe difficulties due to climate change, feed and water scarcity, restriction to grazing lands, faulty livestock policies and other man-made consequences. The number of camels is declining and camel breeds are at risk of extinction, especially in this region. Scientific work on the camel is often not connected to and relevant for the camel keepers.
However, every cloud has a silver lining. The regional (Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan) camel community (scientists, breeders, and policymakers) can work for joint projects. Camel association can be organized at national levels in each country and can fabricate a regional cooperation for camel development. Camel friends need to work together and share ideas and support each other. The message about the diversity and capacity of the camel can then reach the policymakers.
As a first attempt, a review committee to review camel productions and possibilities for future development is urgent and requires pooling of available data on the camel in a systematic and uniform manner. Such committee can work on the compilation of the work done already and can give the idea for future research and development on a camel.
Keywords: future, global, joint, policy, review, camel

The camel is a  food Security Animal in Climate Change Scenario

Camel is well in position to beat the challenge of food security in the climate change context. Camel produces milk and meat for human consumption. Camel meat is praised for its good quality, especially if it is derived from the calf. The major meat contents i.e. moisture, protein, fat, and ash are reported as 71, 21.4, 4.4 and 1.1% respectively (Kadim and Mahgoub, 2006). Camels are good potential meat producers especially in arid regions where other meat-producing animals do not thrive. Camel meat, especially from young animals, contains low fat with low cholesterol as well as being a good source of amino acids and minerals.

Many factors drive the slaughtering rate of the camel. Though camel meat is preferred in some countries, but not often slaughtered due to high prices and slow herd growth rate. Camel is mainly slaughtered on special occasions, like festival, wedding, mourning, physical damage to the animal, for preying and the arrival of guests (Mehari et al, 2007). But in recent times, the camel meat is attracted many people in the Middle East and the number of camel slaughtering is increasing. Such trend resulting in camel decline in the horn of Africa and Sub-continent.

Camel milk is the major and special product for human consumption. Camel was originally domesticated for milk following the move to use as a beast of a burden, especially for armies. (Raziq et al, 2008). Camel is no more the animal of the old world, but an animal which may be used to combat the growing desertification and to feed millions of people living in those areas. The camel produces in harsh and hostile conditions where another animal may not survive. A camel can provide 15-20 liters of milk per day for a lactation period of up to 18 months, making it a very good farm animal. Studies conducted in the horn of Africa revealed that the camel produced more milk than the other types of tropical animals compared on the basis of kg/TLU/year (Schwartz and Dioli, 1992).
Globally camel produces about 2 % of the world total milk and that milk is mostly produced by pastoral people and consumed locally (Raziq et al, 2008). The camel sustains its productivity in difficult conditions and comparatively lesser affected by the adverse factors like lack of feed, water, season and length of lactation (Raziq et al, 2011).Pashtoon nomads and camel

Production, pastoralism, and conservation
Camel production is still switched to nomadic and semi-nomadic people. Camel plays the role as the tool of survival in arid and semi-arid lands of the earth. Camel is crucial for the livelihood earning of such communities and ensure their food security. As a consequence of the climate change and drought, some cattle pastoralists substituted cattle with the camel to ensure the existence of the drought conditions. A new phenomenon of camel dairying is getting popularity and increases, though the growth is not appealing yet. The efforts of last decade like that in Mauritania (Tvisky), Kenya, India, and the UAE (Alain Dairy and Camelicious) are now following the newly camel dairying, especially in the Middle East.
Pastoralism safeguards conservation and development (evolution) of camel genetic resources in the world. The pastoral people developed and evolved specialized breeds of livestock for food and agriculture and camel is the one among them. Camel herders evolved the present day’s breed with the continuous selection for fitness and survival traits with the help of their indigenous knowledge in the long run of history. Such efforts resulted in the well-adapted genetic resources for food and agriculture, which can survive in harsh and hostile conditions (Köhler-Rollefson, 2005). Hence efforts for conservation and sustainable use of camel, the role of pastoral people cannot be neglected.Camel Barbering Sindh Pakistan

Regional cooperation
Camel can be the solution for many difficult questions, i.e. climate change, drought and food security, especially for the region like ours. Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan are under the severe threat of many challenges like water and feed scarcity, climate calamities, deforestation etc. In such conditions, the importance of well-adapted livestock species like camel increases manifolds. Unfortunately, camel erosion is a challenge in the region. There are many reasons for this decline, all are manmade. Camel is being neglected in research and development sectors of the region and no integrated efforts had been made to address camel issues. The camel conference of Mashhad can be a milestone for a regional cooperation and development of camel R&D in the region. As a beginning, universities, research institutions, and breeders communities can initiate camel cooperation which can proceed at ministries levels in the days coming.
A committee of scientists can be organized here at the end of the conference to make a comprehensive report on the present situation of the camel in the region, i.e. population, breeds, trends, communities, utilities etc and also to review the research work already performed and published. The committee will point out the gaps in the research area and will suggest research work to the universities and institutions. The committee can collaborate with the international camelid organization, especially ISOCARD to ease its work and broaden the horizon of camel research and development.
We have announced an international camel conference in Pakistan next year under the patronage of the camel association of Pakistan (CAP). The committee may have a meeting at such occasion and can discuss its progress and future plans.

brahvi-breed

Conclusion
Camel can be a tool to combat desertification and to fight the calamities of climate change. Camel ensures food security in the arid ecosystems of our region. Unfortunately, camel is under threat and still neglected among the R & D sector of our national governments. A regional cooperation and coordination can be a silver lining in the cloud. Cooperation among the universities, camel herders, pastoralists and other stakeholders can bring cool breeze in the camel world of the region.

References

  1. Bengoumi M. and Faye B., 2002. Adaptation du dromadaire à la déshydratation. Sécheresse. 13 (2) 121-129.
  2. Bengoumi M., Riad F., Giry J., De La Farge F., Safwate A., Davicco M.J and Barlet J.P, 1993. Hormonal Control of Water and Sodium in Plasma and Urine of Camels during Dehydration and Rehydration. General and Comparative endocrinology. 89: 378-386.
  3. Hjört af Ornäs A . and M. Ali Hussein, 1993.Camel herd dynamics in southern Somalia: long term development and milk production implications. . In: A. Hjort af Ornäs (Ed.),The multipurpose camel: interdisciplinary studies on pastoral production in Somalia., EPOS, Uppsala University, Sweden, 31-42
  4. Kadim, I.T. and O. Mahgoub. 2006. Meat quality and composition of Longissimus thoracis from Arabian Camel (Camelus dromedaries) and Omani beef: A comparative study. In: First conference of the international society of Camelids research and development (ISOCARD) (pp. 118).
  5. Köhler-Rollefson, I. 2005a. Building an International Legal Framework on Animal Genetic Resources Can it help the drylands and food-insecure countries? LPP. http://www.pastoralpeoples.org/docs/int_legal_framework_an_gen_res.pdf
  6. Mehari, Y., Z. Mekuriaw and G. Gebru. 2007. Camel and camel product marketing in Babilie and Kebribeyah woredas of the Jijiga zone, Somali region, Ethiopia. Livestock Research for Rural Development 19 (4).
  7. Raziq A, M. Younas, M.S. Khan and I. Iqbal. 2011. Milk production potential as affected by parity and age of the Kohi dromedary camel. J. Camel Pract. Res. 17(2): 1-4.
  8. Raziq, A., M. Younas and M.A. Kakar. 2008. Camel~ A potential dairy animal in difficult environments. Pak. J. Agri. Sci. 45(2): 263-267.
  9. Schwartz, H.J. and M. Dioli. 1992. The one-humped Camel in Eastern Africa. A pictorial guide to diseases, health care and management. Verlag Josef Margraf, Scientific Books PO Box 105 D 6992, Weikersheim, FR Germany.
  10. Yagil R., 1993. Renal function and water metabolism in the dromedary. Moving Points in Nephrology Contrib. Nephrol. Basel, Karger. 102 :161-170.

Brahvi camel~well suited to the mountainous and plain lands ecology of Central Balochistan

Brahvi camel is under threat. The population is speedily going down. There are many reasons for this decline, the most important one is the introduction of apple agriculture in the region. The camel is strong and compact and well suited for work in the mountainous areas. Brahvi camel is part and parcel of the rich livestock culture of the Brahvi people.DSC08379brahvi-breedbaloch-culture-day-40

Arable Agricultural Farming and loss to Biodiversity

Arable farming promote land grabbing in South Asia and central Asian countries. Afghanistan and Pakistan are more prone to this phenomenon. In Pakistan, land grabbing already resulted in restrictions of livestock movement and narrowing the natural flow of water which resulted in severe floods in the country.

In Afghanistan arable farming resulted in the farm of land grabbing by warlords and restrictions of the livestock movement of Kochis. The arable farmers usually use high yielding crops with highbred vigor and diminish local verities of flora and fauna. High and intense use further erode local biodiversity.

http://www.saves.org.pk/pub/29.pdf

I hereby appeal national governments, policy makers and international organizations, especially FAO to highlight this issue and take steps to mitigate it.