Tag Archives: traditional knowledge

The Farming System that Ensures Biodiversity Conservation

Small scaled family farming plays a multidimensional role, ensure not only livelihood but play a pivotal role in biodiversity conservation. Such farmers judiciously use the weeds and herbs grow along with the crops and use the crop residues as animal feed. Here are some pictures, I shot in my hometown Borai, Loralai which show us the beauty of this unique farming system. The farmer told me that he never used any pesticides and chemical fertilizer.

Orchard grass and the biodiversity

These grasses are rich in nutrients and the best feed for the sheep, goats and the cows.

The place for wild mint

This weed is locally called as Shinshobey in Pashtu. It is a wild mint. This weed is dried/powdered and uses as food with yogurt and shlombey etc.

The beauty as well as rich animal feed

This weed is called as Perwathke in Pashtu, a very rich feed for the small ruminants.

Chicken is the integral part of this farming

The chicken thrives on the insects in the orchard and provides a rich source of protein.

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Vegetables are grown at the orchard, providing rich and safe food for the family.

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The beautiful but rich herbal plant

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Apricot tree, the small piece of land is richer with different types of trees

Frog breeding is ensured here

The small canal providing a niche for the frog breeding. One can see the eggs of the frogs.

More plants and animals diversity is placed on a smaller piece of land with the highest productivity and the whole family depends on this farm in one or other way.

Cow dung is a biofertilizer

The cow dung is dried and use as a fuel. The remaining material (powdered) is used as farmyard manure

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Borai is home to delicious Anar (Pomegranate)

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Damson fruit, locally called as Aloo. The dried fruit is a source of spices with sheep meat.

Author of the manuscript with a plum tree

We can find many different types of trees, plants, vegetables, and weeds on a smaller piece of land

 

Camel Milk Subsidies the Stress Level- A Preliminary Study Revealed

ABSTRACT

As a matter of fact, I recommend camel milk as a natural therapy for certain health complications, especially diabetes, poor mood, joints/muscle problems, poor metabolism & constipation and poor sleep etc.

In this study (uniquely designed with the blend of traditional Knowledge and scientific principles), different kinds of health situation (3 people) were studied based on the camel milk (CM) therapy. All the complexions were relieved in a certain period of CM therapy but with different magnitudes of recovery. It is a great opportunity for the medical research to conduct studies on CM for the achievement of natural health to save the human health from the negative impacts of the drug residues.

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A young Baloch camel herder with camel milk in Karan desert of Balochistan

Methodologies

During the last 2 months, I have conducted some studies with 3 persons for certain complaints. The duration of the camel milk (CM) therapy was 45 days. About 300 ml of CM was provided for 2 months on daily basis. The CM was offered early in the morning before the breakfast. The breakfast was taken after a period of 90 minutes. (The duration of the study and the timing of the milk intake was based on the theory of traditional knowledge.

The CM therapy was used for 3 different conditions. Here the condition means a group of ailments (according to our own definition) which resulted in a circumstance, where multiple systems of the body were involved.

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A Baloch camel herder in the beautiful landscape of Balochistan

Results and Discourse of the Findings

1. Poor metabolism and Hyper Stress

In this condition, the stress level was too high. The person was over-responsive to minor issues (like workload, management issues, heat stress etc.), feelings of unpleasant moments, and a bad response to food. A bad response to food means ‘the affected person either took more food at one time and did not take food for an abnormal longer duration the other time.

The Discourse 
  • The first condition (over-responsive) improved steadily with the passage of time. The person with this condition started feeling calmness from the inside.
  • The second condition (unpleasant moments) improved better and speedy. The stressed person had more time of pleasant time than unpleasant time, including better and longer sleep period.
  • The third condition (bad response to food) improved very positively and quantitatively. The food intake improved and the affected person started feeling the desire to take food and was very regular in food intake and timing. The person said it was because of the break in constipation because of CM.

2. Joints pain and stressful conditions

The stress of arthritis (pain, lower movability, and less comfort) resulted in a bad time. The desire to walk and other activities were very limited. A complex stress condition was felt by the affected person.

The Discourse 
  • The pain (actual pain) improved slowly but to some extinct. As an experience of the affected person, ‘the stressed conditions multiply the pain manifolds’. The CM helped in controlling the stress of arthritis, which resulted in a tolerable level of pain.
  • The lower movability condition was improved as ‘a pleasant relaxation both in joints (especially knee joints) and muscles/tendons were felt.
  • The condition of less comfort improved so visibly. The affected person started feeling comfortable and relaxed and had a good sleep.

3. Body Aches and High-Stress Level

The affected person was feeling severe body aches, especially in shoulder and neck. The patient was not willing to walk because of weakness in muscles. This condition further painful when the stress inclined because of pain and poor body performance.

The Discourse 
  • The patient started feeling relaxed when took camel milk. Camel milk was realized as excellent thin and cold food (traditional terminology). The CM helped in controlling the stress of the body aches.
  • The patient was eager and willing to walk. The patient managed to walk more than 3 km, a contrast to the situation before the camel milk therapy.
  • The situation of taking interest in daily life improved (traditional terminology).

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    The beautiful habitat of Cholistan desert with Barela camels

When I noticed this improvement, I revied literature and concluded that this improvement by the CM might be linked with the functionality of the glands in the body.

Like adaptogens, (a class of plants used for their healing abilities to balance, restoring, and protecting your body as a whole) camel milk equally works as an agent in balancing the human body through the triggering of the glands. Especially, the CM comes from the camels browsing on a wide verity of plants acquire the characteristics of those herbal plants. I’m copying here the examples of the 2 glands, i.e. The adrenal cortex produces hormones that are vital to life, such as cortisol (which helps regulate metabolism and helps your body respond to stress) and aldosterone (which helps control blood pressure). The blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin is not always able to transfer the extra energy (glucose or fat) to the muscle cells for two reasons. … Stress Management is vital to turn around this hormonal domino effect that can lead to elevated blood sugar, insulin resistance.

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The bowl is full of camel milk

An Important Note

The research method and the way of presentation/documentation are derived from the thematic areas of the traditional knowledge. The results are blended with the modern knowledge of gland physiology from the literature review. 

 

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.

Camels’ headache! And now Orf

I received a report about the swelling head disease from a colleague from Mithi district of province Sindh in Pakistan. He has sent me some pictures of the affected camels also. They are upset with the situation and already 37 camels are dead due to this disease. A colleague said, they tried to isolate bacteria but did not succeed yet. While looking at the pictures and the history of the disease, it clearly indicates to Orf. Here is some more information about the Orf disease of the camel in the ensuing lines.

Orf (Swelling Head Disease): This disease comes once in life and occurs before the permanent teeth appear (4-5 years of age). This viral disease is contagious coupled with fever and depression. Nodules develop on the lips and changes into blisters. In advanced stages, blisters are formed inside the mouth and nose. Swelling of the face and the head is the third and the advanced stage of Orf. If not treated properly, the animal becomes blind and unable to eat.

The strategy is based on specific treatment combined with supportive therapy. Specific treatment can consist of pouring warm, boiled water on the animal’s head, or hot branding of the head. As pesticide and/or larvicide, application of DDT powder or Trichlorfon in kerosene oil on the lesions is used, or insertion by smooth sticks with ash from the burned root from the plant Orgalama ((Rhazya stricta). Sometimes specific treatment is not very effective against orf. Supportive therapy can consist of giving hot food.

The hot food comprises of soups made of cockerel meat, egg, pulses, cereals, and chilies etc. Hot food is a composite of those nutrients which keeps the body active, energetic and enhance the activities inside the body.

 

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I shot this picture in Musakhail district of Balochistan, 2016

 

For more details, please read the article at the following link.

http://www.ethnobiomed.com/content/6/1/16/abstract