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Role of camel in the pastoral economy of Marri tribe in Balochistan, Pakistan

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  • Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
Article

Role of camel in the pastoral economy of Marri tribe in Balochistan, Pakistan

Abstract and Figures

Marri belt is situated in the Suleiman mountain region of the northeastern part in Balochistan province of Pakistan. The camel breeders of Marri tribe are traditionally and historically professional in camel breeding. The belt is a habitat of many important livestock species mainly raised on the vast ranges. The camel of Marri the area (Kohi breed) is well adapted to climatic extremes and is well praised for their significance in the pastoral economy. The concurrent drought, socio-economic changes and the environmental instability once again have realised the importance of camel. Therefore, a survey study was conducted in the Marri belt of Suleiman region to investigate its socio-economic profile, followed by its documentation. It was revealed that camel still plays an important role, provides cash earning, transportation, food and wool. The camel herders follow a regular pattern of seasonal migration according to the season, foliage availability and agricultural operations. Women perform all management practices at home, and take care of young and sick animals. Camel is still a valuable animal genetic resource.
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Journal of Camel Practice and Research June 2008 / 131
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Marri belt (Kohlu district) is the extreme south
of the Suleiman mountain region of Balochistan.
Livestock farming has been a century’s old occupation
of a vast majority of the population in this district, and
was the only source of food winning for most of the
households. The area is very famous for its livestock
agriculture, especially, large herds of camels and full-
size small ruminants’ flocks. The livestock farmers
follow a regular pattern of seasonal migration; mainly
depend upon the season and agricultural operation.
Camel is an important animal genetic resource, plays
a very pivotal role in herders’ socio-economic life and
providing valuable food items in the most stressful
conditions (Aujla and Jasra, 1996). The camel of the
area (Kohi breed) is well adapted to the climatic
extremes and is well appreciated for its significance
in the pastoral economy (Raziq and Younas, 2006).
The region comprised of vast ranges and are used
judiciously by the well adapted various livestock
breeds of the pastoral people especially camel, which
otherwise go waste. The camel is praised in many
parts of the world's arid and semi-arid zones for their
unique characteristics especially, under the harsh
conditions (Schwartz and Dioli, 1992).
While living in the remote and poor
infrastructures, the pastoral people having good
expertise while using ethnic knowledge they had
gained from their fore fathers. The camel breeders of
the region are well familiar with the significance of
camel for their hardiness, adaptation and valuable turn
out. The concurrent drought, socio-economic changes
and the environmental instability have once again
realised the importance of camel, and therefore, a
survey was conducted in the Marri belt of Suleiman
region to evaluate its socio-economic profile.
Materials and Methods
The camel survey was conducted in April, 2007.
All the general aspects of camel were studied through
a pre-tested proforma, specially designed for this
purpose. The camel herders in general, progressive
owners, Jaths and ethno veterinarians from the
different camel sanctuaries (Kohlu tehsil itself,
Thamboo, Kahan and Maiwand) of the district were
interviewed. Both group discussion and personal
interview methods were adopted. The vegetation
samples were collected and sent to Botany Department,
University of Agriculture Faisalabad for confirmation
of botanical nomenclature.
Results and Discussion
Kohlu is situated at the southern end of the
Suleiman mountainous region and consists chiefly of
narrow parallel ridges of closely packed hills which
form the gradual descent from the Suleiman plateau
into the plains (GOB, 1999).
Vol 15 No 1, p 131-138
ROLE OF CAMEL IN THE PASTORAL ECONOMY OF
MARRI TRIBE IN BALOCHISTAN, PAKISTAN
A. Raziqa, A. Iqbala, M. Younasa and M.S. Khanb
aDepartment of Livestock Management, bDepartment of Animal Breeding and
Genetics, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Pakistan
ABSTRACT
Marri belt is situated in the Suleiman mountain region of the northeastern part in Balochistan
province of Pakistan. The camel breeders of Marri tribe are traditionally and historically professional in
camel breeding. The belt is a habitat of many important livestock species mainly raised on the vast ranges.
The camel of Marri the area (Kohi breed) is well adapted to climatic extremes and is well praised for their
significance in the pastoral economy. The concurrent drought, socio-economic changes and the environmental
instability once again have realised the importance of camel. Therefore, a survey study was conducted in
the Marri belt of Suleiman region to investigate its socio-economic profile, followed by its documentation.
It was revealed that camel still plays an important role, provides cash earning, transportation, food and
wool. The camel herders follow a regular pattern of seasonal migration according to the season, foliage
availability and agricultural operations. Women perform all management practices at home, and take care
of young and sick animals. Camel is still a valuable animal genetic resource.
Key words: Balochistan, camel, management, marri tribe, Pakistan, pastoral people, production
132 / June 2008 Journal of Camel Practice and Research
Large herds of camel and cattle are also visible
in the area. The major portion of the people in the
district are pastorals and depends upon the livestock.
Earning of the inhabitants is mainly from the livestock
farming. The last drought and the heavy drainage of
the ground water dropped the water table. This abrupt
scarcity of water once again realised the importance
of local livestock breeds, especially the Kohi camel.
The camel herders follow a regular migration
depending on the season and agricultural operation.
Migratory period starts with the onset of autumn. The
animals meant for sale are sorted from their herds and
move towards the Mangrota camel fair in D.G. Khan
district of Punjab province (Fig 1). The Mangrota camel
fair is the largest camel marketing event in the country
(Raziq, 2006; 2007). A migration may originate from
Kohlu district and its locality like Chamalang, Thambo
and Paza and may end up in the southern part of
Kohlu or the Sibbi district of Balochistan. Some herds
may reach to the Kachi area (the adjoining area of
Balochistan and Sindh province). They stay there, with
their animals until March or April. With the onset of
the spring season, they move back to the mountain
areas. They try to reach Kohlu area in the wheat
harvesting season and take part in the crop harvesting
and threshing. The movement is along traditionally
fixed routes. The migration involves only the pastoral
activities, but some people work in the agricultural
fields in the canal irrigated areas of Balochistan and
Sindh in winter. The Baloch pastorals do not
participate in business activities like Afghan nomads.
At present, national herd comprises about one
million heads of camels (Economic survey, 2007-2008)
and 13% growth rate has been observed since 1996 to
2006. Out of the total national camel population 41%
found in Balochistan province alone, while 27% of the
camels of Balochistan are found in the Suleiman
region. The Marri belt possessed about 60% camel of
the Suleiman region (ACO, 2006).
Characteristics of Kohi Camel
The body size of Kohi camel is smaller as
compared to riverine camel of the Indus delta (Fig 2).
An average milk production per day was about 10 litres
and live body weight was 550 and 485 kg for male and
female, respectively. The foot of the camels were round
and hard, the wool of white Kohi camel is short, curly
and fine. The detailed characteristics of Kohi camel
have also been reported previously by Raziq and
Younas (2006).
Camels provide important source of subsistence
and income to the people residing in the mountain
areas of Balochistan, which has also been reported by
Aujla and Jasra (1996). The survey finding revealed
that camel is still performing an important role,
providing cash profit by selling mature male camels
for draught purpose, transportation for daily life, and
food as milk and wool for household needs. They
earned a reasonable amount of cash while selling their
mature bulls, sick and culled animals in vicinity and
annual camel fairs. The camel is the sign of prestige
for Marri camel herders and source of recreation and
hobby. After the severe drought (1994-2004) in the
region, the economic value of camel was boosted and
camel was considered as important source of cash
earning. They earn Rs 60,000 to 75, 000 (US $ 1000-
1200) per mature male camel, which is almost ten times
more than the prices ten years back.
In the Marri belt, the camels are being raised by
the Jaths, a community of the Marri tribe who look after
Fig 1. Mangrota camel fair. Fig 2. White Kohi camel of the research area.
Journal of Camel Practice and Research June 2008 / 133
the camel herds. The Jaths are very often illiterate, they
use simply prepared bread (Kak) with the camel’s milk
and their earning comes from the camel rearing.
The Jath is paid Rs. 100 and 3 Kasa of wheat
grain per year on each animal rearing. In addition to
that, one Bharri of wheat per Jorra land of the herder is
also provided. A pair of shoes, a bed, a pair of cloths,
a loomer, and a turbine on weeding is also given each
year by each herder. The herd size is counted in the
month of October when the animals are sorted for sale.
The herders have to pay next year on the number of
camels left after sorting. The rearing cost of all the age
classes of camels is same.
Women plays a pivotal role in the production
and management of camels in the region. They perform
all the management practices at home which include;
taking care of young and sick animals and perform all
other household activities.
The Kohi camel is well reputed for its production
potential. Their various productive traits are given in
the table 1. The role of camel as food animal is being
accepted globally and the camel scientists (Faye and
Esenov, 2005) stated that camel has unfathomed
potential for satisfying human’s future dietary and
medical needs. The camel milk is well praised for its
medicinal value as it grazes on certain herbs which
are the potential sources of medicinal ingredients. In
the summer season when there was scarcity of water
and the vegetation was no more accessible for the
young calf, camel milk is the only source of food and
water. The dromedary has an accepted and well
known peculiarity, as its milk water contents increases
with the shortage of water and may reach up to 90%
(Wernery, 2006). In the survey area milk was used for
the treatment of different diseases i.e. water belly,
typhoid and arthritis, and the camel herders are well
familiar about the camel’s milk prospective for its
therapeutic values.
As the Jaths remain in remote areas along with
their camels, far from their families, they don’t need
more milk. The animal is milked only when needed or
in the case when the udders are firmly full, which
otherwise causes mastitis. On an average Kohi camel
produced 10.7 litre milk/day, and the lactation period
was reported as normal 8 to 10 months. The lactation
period however, depends upon the age, body
conditioning, parity and health status of the cow. The
only production criterion of the camel herders was the
production of a calf in 2 years. As the camel is a
seasonal breeder therefore, they dry the camel in
October to November to provide a dry period of 3 to 4
months. A jal (udder covering) is provided to keep the
calf away from suckling. In the mean time the lush
green vegetation also get scarce in the autumn and
winter, which affect the cow’s health and vigour for
breeding. If the cow is not being dried at proper stage
the two factors i.e. decreasing vegetation and the
continuous calf suckling, will adversely affect the body
conditioning of the camel and will cause fertility failure
in the coming breeding season. Colostrum is also used
by the Jaths locally called as Boli which believed to be
the rich source of energy and power.
The Marri tribe does not slaughter camel for
meat production. The animal not fit for work and sale
is slaughtered. Camels with fracture of long bones are
slaughtered and the meat is distributed in the families
of the community, but free of cost. The other occasion
for camel slaughtering is Sadqa (Khairath), in which
camel is scarificed in the name of Allah and the meat
is distributed free of cost in the community. The camel
is rarely used for Muslim religious rituals of Eid ul
Azha in the Marri belt.
The majority of the respondents believed that
camel meat also had medicinal value; it decreases the
backache, and the long bones pain. The hump fats are
used for the treatment of infertility in women and
mastitis in cows and small ruminants. The hump fat
is crushed and tied at the lower abdomen of the
infertile women. The hump fat is boiled and applied
on the udder for the treatment of mastitis. Meat of old
camel is also used as an anthelmentics in small
ruminants. The meat is boiled in water, thrived well,
Table 1. Productive traits of the Kohi camel.
No Traits Values
Male Female
1 Average birth weight 32-40 kg 31-40 kg
2 Average weaning weight*160-185 kg 155-180 kg
3 Average live weight 550 kg 485 kg
4 Height at wither 2 m 1.7 m
5 Ready for workload 3 yr 3 yr
6 Use for heavy duty 7-8 yr -
7 Age of puberty 4 yr 3 yr
8 Average work life 25 yr -
9 Average reproductive life 25 yr 21 yr
10 Conception rate out of herd - 50-53%
11 Gestation period - 375-386 day
12 Calving rate out of herd - 45-50%
13 Calving interval - 2 yr
14 Average milk production - 10.7 kg/day
15 Lactation length - 8-11 month
16 Wool Production - 2.5 kg
*Weaning age is 8 month.
134 / June 2008 Journal of Camel Practice and Research
and a viscous solution is prepared and fed to the
parasites infested animals.
Since last few years, camel’s meat demand has
been increased among the coal mines workers in the
adjoining Duki area of Loralai district. The mine
workers believed that camel meat is better to remove
the deleterious gases accumulated in their bodies
during mine digging. The old, sick and used animals
are now moving to that market for better returns.
Camel is used for all sort of work like, trans-
portation of fuel wood, home utilities, agricultural
operations, bringing fodder for the animals kept at
home and riding. The male animal is introduced to
work at the age of 3 years and is used up to the age of
18 years. A mature male camel can carry 200-240 kg
on his back in Rug Mountains and 320-360 kg in plain
area. Female is rarely used for work, sometimes the
kids of the pastorals and light weight like family hens
etc. are loaded on its back.
The animals are trained for riding and are
locally called as Mahari. The Mahari camel can carry
2 persons depend upon the type of saddle. A Mahari
camel run at an average speed of 10 km/hr and may
cover up to 40 km in a day. The Mahari camels are
well decorated and are well cared especially, on
occasions like wedding etc.
The wool is widely used for bedding material
but some people also used it for ropes, horse and camel
saddles and rugs. The herders believed that the
camel’s wool bedding is very comfortable and treat the
body aches. The camel wool is also used for some
medicinal purposes both in animals and human being.
A thread is made by the camel wool and tied around
the neck of the sheep for the treatment of the chronic
respiratory problem. The camel’s wool smoke is
smelled by the new born baby with a view, that it keep
the baby safe from the tetanus.
Camel management practices
Production systems
The transhumant production system makes the
major portion of the production system in the region,
the sedentary and nomadic system are very rare. Some
draught purpose camels are being kept in the vicinity
of the Kohlu town by some agriculturists and wood
cutters. There is no special arrangement of housing
for the camels in this area. As the camels are always
on move, they hardly spend more than one month at
one place. The camel in the transhumant system is
rarely brought to the home. The Jaths stay with their
camel herds in mountains. The Jaths in the vicinity
gather on one place at night, called as Jhok.
Feeding
Camel production predominantly depends on
the community owned rangelands. The rangelands of
the region have copious woody vegetation and bushes,
liked by the camel. The camels proceed early in the
morning to the grazing areas, where they drink water
first, especially, in summer followed by grazing. The
water is offered twice in summer and once in winter.
The sources of water are river, ponds and sometimes
tube wells. The herders of the area are well familiar
with the importance of salt bushes in camel nutrition
and therefore, they prefer bush area at least once in a
weak. The herders believe that the camel browse well
on other vegetation after allowing to graze on salt
bushes. Keeping away from the salt bushes and off salt
may cause serious problem of pica. Salt deficiency
symptoms were well known to the herders.
No stall-feeding is provided in any part of the
year. In the crop harvesting season in the study area,
animals are allowed for grazing aftermath in the fields.
The stubbles of maize and sorghum are also offered if
available. The weak and diseased animals, which are
unable to graze, are provided wheat straw, if available
but such cases were seen very rarely.
Major Vegetation of Marri belt: The author
observed that camel relish twigs and pods of Acacia
modesta, especially, when there is good year and the
twigs are hanging. Only the pods of Acacia arabica are
liked by camel, but not the twigs and leaves. Other
woody vegetation like Zizyphus, Olive, Pistachio and
jand are also available. The Tamarix trees are the source
of salts and minerals and the lactating animal
especially like it. The tree form of Tamarix is available
on the stream’s banks and the bushy Tamarix is found
inside the streams. The bushes (Caragana ambigua and
camel thorn) are also much liked by the camel,
especially, when they are in blooming stage. The salt
bushes like Haloxyllon grifithi and Haloxyllon recurvum
are also found in the plain terrians, which are one of
the main feed sources for camels in the region. The
camel rarely liked the grasses except the juicy grasses
like Cynodon dactylon, and Stipa capillata when fresh.
Some of the important vegetation for camel found in
the area is given in the table 2. Some rejected and
poisonous plants are also found on the ranges of the
area given in the table 3.
Calf care
The Jaths offer colostrums within one hour, but
avoid excessive colostrums, which might cause
diarrhoea. Many herders believed that post calving full
colostrums feeding is far better than depriving the calf
Journal of Camel Practice and Research June 2008 / 135
especially the young ones, quite often refuse to nurse
their calves, so they must be forced to accept otherwise
milk production would ceased within days.
Pastoralists have developed several elaborate
techniques to reach this objective (Schwartz and Dioli,
1992). All these techniques cause discomfort or even
pain to the mother which will absorb her attention to
such an extent that she will forget to reject the calf.
After the calf has suckled a few times, the device is
removed and in most cases the relief is so strong that
the mother will accept the calf permanently.
The newly born calves stay at Jhok almost ten
days and then move with the herd, while providing
cover to the udder of the mother. The new crop is well
cared and the leaves and twigs were offered and ad lib
water was provided.
Shearing
Shearing is done once in a year in the month of
April depending upon the health of individual animal
and the season. Shearing is sometimes delayed up to
May, if animals are weak, sick, freshly calved or the
weather is rainy and cold. Almost 4 Gorrie (1 Gorrie=
600g of wool) wool is produced per shearing.
Identification
The identification sign is applied below the ear,
cheek and sometimes on the thigh. Each herder has
his own sign of identification. Red hot iron is used for
this purpose; mostly the first capital English word of
the herder’s name is used. Branding of the new comers
in the herd is done in the month of October, before the
animals move to the low lands.
Breeding
Selection of animals for breeding
Calf is selected for bull replacement at the age
of 9 month, when the calf is generally weaned. The
selection criteria is based on the fine and curly wool,
pure white or creamy colour, body conformation,
vigour, pedigree record, milk production, hardiness,
viability and body development. The breeders like
Roman nose, strong and wide canon bones and arms,
broad chest, prominent eyes and strong neck. They
dislike hanging lips, rough body coat, weak legs and
short neck. The bull kept for breeding is usually farm
produced, because they know the pedigree background
well. The breeders memorise the pedigree record and
there is no formal register for this purpose. The
breeders give much emphasis on the selection of bull
in their breeding program. The breeders are well aware
about the importance of the bull.
of colostrums. The herders know the importance of the
colostrums feeding and believed that it is important
in keeping the calf healthy, strong and vigorous.
Calf mortality was very rare and it might be the
result of bull selection and replacement, colostrums
feeding and good husbandry care. According to the
respondents, intensive care was needed to save the
calves from cold and predators. The dams accept the
calf in majority of the cases but very rare dams
Table 2. Foraging materials relished by the camel.
Local Botanical Local Botanical
name name name name
Trees
Uzhgai Oleao officinalus Karkana Zizyphus
nummolaria
Showan, Oleao ferrugina Ber Zizyphus
Shanani mauritiana
Wanna Pistacia cabulica Helani Zizyphus
sativa
Sherwan Pistacia khinjuk Zarga Prunus eburnean
Ghaz, Tamarix indica Sur Ghaz Tamarax aphylla
Tamand
Khler, Capparis aphylla Pah, Acacia modesta
karar Palosa
Bushes/shrubs
Barar Periploca aphylla Pesh Nannorhops
ritchieana
Mákhae Caragana ambigua Ghelmi, Haloxylon
Thrath recurvum
Tindan Alhagi camelorum Khar, Suæda fruticosa
Zumai, Lani
Shinbutae, Haloxyllon grifithii
shorae, Grasses
Barau Sorghum halepense Sargarae, Fraxinus
shang xanthoxyloides
Raghbolae, Stipa capillata Murgha, Cynodon
sába khabbal dactylon
Table 3. A list of rejected and poisonous plants.
Local Botanical Local Botanical
name name name name
Rejected plants
Urgalama Rhazya stricta Leghunae Daphne oleoides
Spalmai Calotropis gigantea Ghozera Sophora grifithii
Khamazurga Withania coagulans
Poisonous plant
Orgalama Rhazya stricta Genderi, Nierum
kaneer odorum
Uzhgai Oleao officinalus*
*only the dry leaves of the O. officinalus* are considered as poisonous.
136 / June 2008 Journal of Camel Practice and Research
A bull is not allowed in the herd longer than 5
years, to prevent mating with his own offspring. Very
few herders use the bull for more than 10 years.
Sometimes, the herders introduce bull from other herds
to harvest the high worth blood. At 4 years of age, male
become ready to mate the female. The bull used for
breeding is never used for draught purpose, because
of the fear that burden would affect the vigour and
libido for breeding. However, the bull is trained for
work and the nose ring is applied at the age of 3 years,
for its future value as draught animal. The healthy
fully grown bull when retired from breeding purpose
is then sold in the camel Fair, which is used for heavy
draught duty in mountain areas.
More emphasis is given to the bull selection. All
heifers produced are kept in the herd except the
deformed and abnormal which cannot move with the
herd. Moreover, if choice is given to the herders, they
will select heifer with the same characteristics as in
the bull selection. Culling level among the female
calves is very low. Only the very old, sick and non
fertile animals are culled.
Other aspects
Male are fit for breeding at the age of 4 years,
while female at the age of 3 years and the M: F ratio
was 1:50. The breeding season starts in the last week
of December and ends in mid April. The fertility is
generally low in start of the breeding period because
of the low rutting intensity of the bull. With
advancement of the breeding season, rutting intensity
and fertility rate increases simultaneously. The herders
believe that the fertility is governed by 2 factors,
intensity of the rutting and the level of humidity,
therefore, fertility is high in the rainy and humid
season. Calving interval was 2 years but in green years
it may produce 2 calve in 3 years.
The newly introduced bull need assistance in
mating, but no more help was needed in the following
seasons. Male camel plays important role in camel
breeding due to its rutting behaviour. The rutting is
directly correlated to temperature, and remains at peak
in the coolest period of the year. The bull remained
inactive in the summer season (non-rutting), when the
temperature is high. The female usually show lesser
breeding behaviour compared to male. The camel is
considered to be seasonal polyestrous. In mature
female the ovarian activity is in association with the
breeding cycle (Wilson, 1984 and Skidmore, 2000). It
is as interesting fact that the pastoral people of the
Marri tribe practice forced mating, whenever a rutting
bull is available. The same exercise is common in some
camel tribes of East Africa (Schwartz and Dioli, 1992).
The herders believe that by this practice, either the
female will be conceived or will come in heat naturally
after one week. The author observed mating of a camel
cow again just after 2 days of parturition. This practice
depends upon the richness of the year, health status
and age of the camel. The same cases are reported from
the other parts of the world, especially, Middle East
(Yagil, 2006)
Approximate birth weight was 32-35 kg and
there was no noticeable difference between the weight
of male and female. Weaning weight (36 week) was
almost 180 kg for male and 165 kg for female. Dry
period was 3 month and service period was almost 4
months. The average herd fertility rate was 48-50 %.
Abortion and reproductive disorders were rarely
reported. One she camel produce up to 12 calves in
her whole life span. The stud life reaches up to 30
years. Detailed reproductive traits of the camel are
given in table 4. The cow could produce more calves
but she lost her eye sight in the advanced age and
many times fall from the mountains and died. The blind
cow cannot care her calf and cannot fulfill her body
requirements by browsing.
Sometimes, the case of abnormal calf (mostly
alopecia) has been observed, which might be because
of some poisonous vegetation or the continuous use
of same bull for breeding for more than 4 years, which
result in inbreeding. The respondents replied that there
were rare cases of infertility, but sometimes infertility
or repeated services were observed. The causes for
infertility were believed due to some hidden diseases,
poor vegetation and lengthy lactation. The
ethnoveterinary practice for the treatment of infertility
is Ponni.
Marketing
The camel’s herders sell their male animal of any
age depending upon their management policy. The
main reason for selling camels was family cash need
to meet their basic needs. There is a custom of selling
larger sized, old and unproductive camels. They sell
camels in the Mangrota camel fair but some animals
Table 4. Reproductive parameters of Kohi Camel.
No. Traits Values
1 Conception rate 50 53 %*
2 Gestation period 375-386 days
3 Calving rate 48-50 %*
4 Calving interval 2 years
5 Reproductive life 25-30 years
* Of the mature female herd
Journal of Camel Practice and Research June 2008 / 137
are also sold in the community. In community level,
they either exchange or buy and sell camel according
to their needs. In many countries especially, in Africa
and India the main market for camel sale is festivals
and fairs (Mehari et al, 2007). Now a days, a new
market for the spent animal has been emerged. Since
last few years camel’s meat demand has been
increased among the coal mines workers as discussed
earlier. Table 5 indicates the average prices collected
from the Mangrota Fair. The animals are kept for
grazing in uplands of Kohlu district i.e. Kohlu tehsil,
Chamalang, Thamboo and Paza area since March to
the end of the September. At the end of September, the
animals selected for sale are sorted and moved to the
(Mela) fair of Mangrota. The rest herd is moved
towards the lowlands of Suleiman region and the
adjoining areas of Sibi region, where they spend
autumn and winter season.
Health aspects and ethnoveterinary practices
The camel breeding area was far-flung from the
modern animal health service. Its remoteness and poor
infrastructure nature made it isolated from other parts
of the province. In such circumstances it is very
difficult to provide veterinary services according to the
western model. The same situation exists in the other
parts of the world where the camel reared in pastoral
system (Köhler-Rollefson et al, 2001). Only few animals
get benefit from the health service provided by the
Government Livestock and Dairy Development
Department and other private practitioners. The
draught animals while coming to the Kohlu city, if
sometimes injured or sick are brought to civil veterinary
hospital. Most often, the Jaths practice ethnoveterinary
care. The respondents consider ethnoveterinary care
as painless, easy available and applicable, cheap and
reliable.
Problems of the camel breeders
In Kohlu district and other Suleiman mountain
region, the major threat is deforestation and expanding
agriculture.
The need for crop cultivation is continuously
increasing with the passage of time. In areas having
electricity, the agricultural activities creep very
progressively. The natural vegetation is being removed
to bring more land under agriculture; as a result area
for camel is progressively decreasing. The extra burden
of livestock and over grazing also accelerated the
process of deforestation. The energy sources are
limited, and the firewood is the only source for the
cooking, heating home in the winter. The government
has no control on the ranges because their
administrative control is under the tribes. The landless
and poor people therefore, sell the natural fauna to fill
their bellies.
The drought since last decade has seriously
affected the rangelands and livestock productivity. The
immunity of the animals against different diseases
decreased due to the poor feeding. More than 15% of
the camels of the area were affected badly due to poor
vegetation and the severe mange (Shafiq and Kakar,
2007).
Marketing issue
No proper facilities have been provided to the
camel owners for marketing. Illegal export of camel is
common, in which the income goes in the pockets of
the smugglers and the real farmers are ignored. Hence,
government is facing a lot of financial loss in this
context. Moreover, the prices of camels are at the
highest in the history due to many reasons. There is
no value addition to the camel products. The milk goes
waste in the remote areas, which need market access
and value addition.
The herders are always on move; therefore, they
couldn’t avail health facilities for them and their
livestock. Their kids are always deprived of modern
educational facilities.
References
ACO (2006). Agricultural Census Organisation, Government of
Pakistan. Livestock Census. Statistics Division, Gulberg
III, Lahore.
Aujla KM and Jasra AW (1996). Socio-economic profile of camel
herders in south-western mountainous areas of Pakistan.
The Camel Newsletter 15:14-17.
Economic Survey (2007-08). Government of Pakistan, Finance
Division. Economic Advisor’s Wing, Islamabad.
Faye B and Esenov P (2005). Desertification combat and food
Safety. The Added Value of Camel Producers. IOS Press,
Amsterdam.
GOB (1999). Balochistan district database. Planning and
Development Department, Government of Balochistan,
Pakistan. Online publication: www.bdd.sdnpk.org.
Table 5. Average Prices of camel in Mangrota camel fair.
2006 2007
No. Age of the Camel Average Price (Rs.)
and 1 US $ = 60 Rs.
1 Mature heavy male 47,000 50,000
2 Mature female 40,000 40,000
3 Yearling male 17,000 20,000
4 Yearling female 19,000 18,000
5 Bi-yearling male 23,000 25,000
6 Bi-yearling female 23,000 22,000
138 / June 2008 Journal of Camel Practice and Research
Mehari Y, Mekuriaw Z and Gebru G (2007). Camel and camel
product marketing in Babilie and Bebribeyah woredas
of the Jijiga zone, Somali region, Ethiopia. Livestock
Research for Rural Development 19 (4). Online
publication: www.cipav.org.co/lrrd/lrrd19/4/
meha19058.htm.
Raziq A (2006, 2007). Personal communications. Visit to
Mangrota Camel Fair.
Raziq A and Younas M (2006). White Camels of Balochistan.
Science. International (Lahore) 18(1):51-52.
Köhler-Rollefson, Paul M and Evelyn M (2001). A field manual
of camel diseases; Traditional and modern health care
for the dromedary. Published by ITDG Publishing 103-
105 Southampton Row, London WCIB 4HL, UK.
Schwartz HJ and Dioli M (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.
Shafiq M and Kakar MA (2007). Effects of drought on livestock
sector in balochistan province of Pakistan: International
Journal of Agriculture and Biology 9(4):57–665.
Skidmore JA (2000). Reproductive physiology in male and
female camels. In: Recent Advances in Camelids
Reproduction, International veterinary information service
(www.ivis.org), Ithaca, New York, USA.
Wernery U (2006). Camel milk, the white gold of the desert.
Journal of Camel Practice and Research 13(1):15-26
Wilson RT (1984). Camels. Macmillan, London, UK.
Yagil R (2006). Reproductive processes in camels. Israel Journal
of Veterinary Medicine 61(2):52-55.
... The dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius Linnaeus, 1758) is a common household animal in pastoral and agro-pastoral societies in the arid parts of North Africa and Southwest Asia, commonly utilised as a pack animal or for its milk, wool and meat. While much attention has been devoted to the camel's economic value in food production systems (e.g., Cockrill, 1984;Gauthier-Pilters and Dagg, 1981;Raziq et al., 2008;Schwartz, 1992), relatively little research has been reported on its feeding behaviour and selectivity, as well as on the effects of camel foraging on natural landscapes. This is so even though the camel is the largest domestic herbivore and one of the most abundant large herbivore species in many arid parts of North Africa and Southwest Asia. ...
... Notwithstanding, the camel is generally thought to consume large amounts of forage nonselectively (Gallacher and Hill, 2006a;Iqbal and Khan, 2001;Woodward and Coppock, 1995). Moreover, during the dry summers of North Africa and Southwest Asia, camels feed primarily on perennial species (Amin et al., 2007;Cockrill, 1984;Dereje and Uden, 2005;Gauthier-Pilters and Dagg, 1981;Iqbal and Khan, 2001;Kassily, 2002;Schwartz, 1992;Woodward and Coppock, 1995), including some thorny and saline species that are considerably less palatable for other herbivores (Amin et al., 2007;Bailey and Danin, 1981;El-Keblawy et al., 2009;Iqbal and Khan, 2001;Woodward and Coppock, 1995;Raziq et al., 2008). ...
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With increasing human population pressure and declining per capita production of food in Africa there is an urgent need to develop previously marginal resources, such as the semi-arid and arid rangelands, and optimise their utilisation through appropriate livestock production systems, of which camel production is certainly the most suitable one. The camel (Camelus dromedarius, one-humped camel, dromedary) is an important livestock species uniquely adapted to hot and arid environments. It produces milk, meat, wool, hair and hides, serves for riding, as a beast of burden and as draft animal for agriculture and short-distance transport. It is most numerous in the arid lowlands of Eastern Africa, i.e. in Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. Approximately 11.5 million animals in this region present over 80% of the African and two thirds of the world's population of camels. This book presents detailed information on the camel in Eastern Africa. Distribution, adaption to arid environments, feeding behaviour and nutritional physiology, products, performances, economic importance, productivity, traditional and modern management practices, diseases, health care and post-mortem procedures are treated with special reference to Eastern Africa. Numerous tables, diagrams and line drawings together with many full colour photographs provide unique visual information for all topics. This publication will be of great interest to anyone dealing with pastoral development in Eastern Africa in particular, but also to livestock specialists, veterinarians, animal ecologists and zoologists in general, to students in these disciplines and, last not least, to all who are fascinated by nature's diversity
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New World Camelids are not milked, but the milk of Old World Camelids is being used for many centuries. The two-humped camel lives in cold climate, hence their milk fat can reach levels of 8% which serves as an energy source for the newborn. The one-humped camel lives in hot climate zones, hence the fat content is low, but the water content is high. The camel udder possesses 4 quarters, one teat per quarter and 2 teat canals per teat, sometimes even 3. One of the most remarkable features of dehydrated camels is the ability to continue lactation, and to secrete milk that is highly diluted with over 90 % water content. A temperamental camel cow which does not like or know its milker, will simply cease production, but a contented camel, on the other hand, can produce milk for a very long period. Globally, the milk productivity of camels is more than five times lower than milk productivity of cattle. The camel's mammary gland possesses at least 8 (4 × 2) independent milk units. The camels are milked by hand. A pilot camel milking project using bucket milking machines began at CVRL in 2001. A modern camel dairy farm with the intention of milking several hundred dromedaries will be opened in autumn 2006 in Dubai under the name "Dubai Camel Dairy Farm" (DCDF). Mastitis in camels is rare. Treatment of camel mastitis is carried out parenteral due to the narrow teat canals. No bacteriological standards exist for raw and pasteurised camel milk. Transformation from colostrum to normal milk is reached after 7 to 10 days. The colostrum of camels is white like normal milk. Duration of milk let-down is very short: about 1 to 2 mins, therefore milking from both sides is essential. Camels should be milked several times a day. Good milkers can produce 20 to 30 litres daily. Camel milk is a rich source of proteins with potential anti-microbial and protective activity. Components of camel milk differ considerably of those from ruminants and have strong similarities to those of human milk. Camel fat contains much higher concentration of long-chained fatty acids (C 14 - C 18) than short-chained fatty acids, and is therefore healthier. Camel milk contains less vitamin A, B2 folic acid and panthothenic acid than cow milk. On the contrary the content of niacin and vitamin C is remarkably higher than in cow milk. The high concentration of vitamin C and the high water content are the most eminent factors of camel milk. Whey proteins in camel milk were more heat resistant than those of cow milk. The degree of denaturation varied in camel milk from 32% to 35% at 80°C. In cow milk, 70 to 75% of whey proteins were denaturated at this temperature. Pasteurisation at 72° C for 5 min revealed only 5-8% losses of camel milk compositions investigated. ). Lactation periods of up to 24 months are known to occur in dromedaries. Camel milk proteins are different to cow milk, this may be the reason why no allergies to camel milk proteins are known. Camel milk does not coagulate easily. It passes the acid stomach undisturbed, and reaches the intestines for absorption. Camel milk contains five times more vitamin C compared to cow milk. Camel milk contains insulin and is therefore used to treat Diabetes mellitus camel milk contains medicinal properties to treat different ailments such as-autoimmune diseases, allergies,asthma, rash, diabetes, infectious diseases like tuberculosis, stress, peptic ulcers and cancer. It is a booster of the immune system. Camel milk products are consumed commercially as fresh raw or pasteurised camel milk, cheese, especially soft cheese in West Africa, e.g. "Caravane" made in Mauritania, ice creams with different flavours and milk shakes, puddings, such as crème brulée, panna cotta and the Arabian dish "Mohabila" and "Susa" (North-Eastern Africa) or "Shubat" (Kazakhstan) as sour milks.
Socio-economic profile of camel herders in south-western mountainous areas of Pakistan
  • K M Aujla
  • A W Jasra
Aujla KM and Jasra AW (1996). Socio-economic profile of camel herders in south-western mountainous areas of Pakistan. The Camel Newsletter 15:14-17.
Desertification combat and food Safety. The Added Value of Camel Producers
  • B Faye
  • P Esenov
Faye B and Esenov P (2005). Desertification combat and food Safety. The Added Value of Camel Producers. IOS Press, Amsterdam.
Balochistan district database. Planning and Development Department, Government of Balochistan
  • Gob
GOB (1999). Balochistan district database. Planning and Development Department, Government of Balochistan, Pakistan. Online publication: www.bdd.sdnpk.org.
Reproductive physiology in male and female camels In: Recent Advances in Camelids Reproduction, International veterinary information service (www.ivis.org)
  • Ja Skidmore
Skidmore JA (2000). Reproductive physiology in male and female camels. In: Recent Advances in Camelids Reproduction, International veterinary information service (www.ivis.org), Ithaca, New York, USA.
Effects of drought on livestock sector in balochistan province of Pakistan
  • M Shafiq
  • M A Kakar
Shafiq M and Kakar MA (2007). Effects of drought on livestock sector in balochistan province of Pakistan: International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 9(4):57-665.
A field manual of camel diseases; Traditional and modern health care for the dromedary
  • Paul M Köhler-Rollefson
Köhler-Rollefson, Paul M and Evelyn M (2001). A field manual of camel diseases; Traditional and modern health care for the dromedary. Published by ITDG Publishing 103-105 Southampton Row, London WCIB 4HL, UK.