Pahwal or Gaddai camel

The Camel Breed of Afghan/Pashtun Kuchis

Camel is one of the important modes of transportation for the nomad (Kochis) who travels longer with their livestock, especially sheep and goats. The Gaddai or Pahwal breed of the camel is unique of its kind and highly resistant to foot rots in cold wet weather, walks long distances, and can exist in cold and wet weather with scarce feed and water resources. The word Gaddai is derived from Pashtu (the Afghan Kochis’s mother tongue), meaning compact and round. Pahwal is the word used for Kochis in some Pashtun tribes. The milk production potential is lower, ranging from 3-10 liters per day but the higher variation is the options hope of a medium dairy potential.

Pahwal or Gaddai camel
The Afghan nomad with their Gaddai camel herd in their winter destination of Thal Duki, Lorelai district of Balochistan

The longest-traveling camel breed in the region

As this breed of camel belongs to Pashtun/Afghan Kochis (nomads), therefore, they travel from central Afghanistan to north-east Balochistan. Some nomads even cross the Suleiman mountains and enter in Indus delta (Punjab province of Pakistan). Characterization and significance of Raigi camel, a livestock breed of the Pashtoon pastoral people in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Some tribes of the Kochis cross Bolan pass and enter in Kachhi area of Balochistan and some go further and enter in Sindh province, using the Indus river banks and adjoining areas for grazing their livestock and the nomads work in the crops of local farmers.

A view of the Gaddai camel in the Kakar Khurasan region of Pakistan

Gaddai or Pahwal Camel Breed is under Threat

Unfortunately, some Kochis are leaving camel culture and adapted tractors for luggage transportation because of the hinders in the historic routes and war and conflict in the region. Also, the land grabbers deforested the Indus banks and grabbed the lands for cropping, especially the cotton crop. Floods, river Indus, and the local livestock breeds in Pakistan



Some tribes replaced camels with tractors, while others use a donkey for this purpose. The donkey is an equally good and strong transport animal but the longer distances really need the incredible camel.

Gaddai is the Ancestor Breed of Australian Feral Camels

This breed is under threat because for many reasons, all are manmade. Gaddai is one of the strongest breeds/lines of camel in the region. The British empire chose this breed of camel to export to Australia and used it in terrain rugs of the country for heavy transport. Australian camels are mainly composed of this breed.

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