Camels’ Manure~From Waste to a Worthwhile Farming Agent

Camel dung is beautiful in its architecture, dry and odorless. Camels’ manure/dung is used as a fueling agent in many developing countries, especially among the pastoralists’ communities. It is ready to burn after every few minutes and does not need to dry in the sunshine for many days like cows’ dung. In the small-scale farming system, it is used both for fuel and organic fertilizer. In northeastern Balochistan and Southern Afghanistan, it is used as a fertilizer for Pomegranate and wine trees(personal communication), giving very good results. In Australia, some camel pets keepers use camel manure for gardening and there are very good results. https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2013-08-12/camel-poo-manure-alice-springs/4880118

camel dung
The camel’s manure golden necklace

Camel Manure Ball Neutralize the Soil Acidity

In the Americas, the dung of the new world’s camelid (Llama) is used to neutralize the acidic, metal-laden water through a highly unusual filter: llama droppings in Bolivia 1. It is a very good agent for filtration because of its higher fiber contents.

Sure. Camel manure is very important here in Rajasthan. Farmers say it is a slow release fertilizer that has an effect for three years. https://twitter.com/IlseKohler/status/1488053118059171840?s=20&t=fHr1vnJV_OCTWqo0lFlnpw

Ilse Kohler Rollefson

Million Tons of Camel Manure is Going Waste Daily

On the other hand, camels’ manure is going to waste in countries (its original habitat) with the highest camel population per unit landmass area (Gulf countries) in the world. UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar have the highest camel population per unit landmass at the global level, producing millions of tons of manure annually; all going to waste. I only found one reference that BP uses camels’ manure in Sharjah (UAE) for the decomposition of hydrocarbon leaked in the soil/water 2. Camels’ dung is used for Bio-Paper production in India but at a minor level.

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Beautiful Kharani Camels in Balochistan

Misconception about the camel manure

Based in UAE, here a common misperception is prevailing regarding camels’ manure as; it has no value as fertilizer. This perception had made camels dung valueless items and it is a burden on camel breeders to properly dump. On contrary (research findings) camel dung has almost the same value as that of cow dung 3. The other misconception is that camel manure contains nematodes that can spread into a garden when used as a fertilizer but a recent study found it wasn’t the case. Nematodes are little thing that grows on the roots of the plant and it chokes the growth of the plant.

compost of camel manure.jpg
Photo credit by Tabitha Bilaniwskyj-Zarins from Australia. She has very good results with the camel manure balls

Camel Manure Compost

Camel dung decomposes faster than many others because of the diverse and stronger microflora in camels’ rumen – later travel to the manure. Camel is, therefore, more efficient in nutrient recycling, making camels’ dung more useful for cropping and farming. Hoffmann and Muhammad revealed that camel dung does not differ from cow and other ruminants’ dung 4. We have breaking news with some very astonishing results of the camel manure compost. https://arkbiodiv.com/2021/12/07/breaking-news-from-camels-world-our-team-found-the-ever-best-results-of-camel-manure-compost/amp/

Camel Manure is a Precious Asset- Needs some Research and Development Initiatives

In conclusion, camels dung is an untapped precious resource which is not been properly utilized so far. The visionary and innovative opinion in Gulf countries, especially the UAE can bring silver sliding in the clouds and may find ways to use this precious resource for the agricultural development of the region. Also, the research institutes of the region should come forward to chalk out projects on the exploring true worth of camel dung.

compost of camel manure 1.jpg
The vegetable grew with camel manure as fertilizer. Photo provided by Tabitha Bilaniwskyj-Zarins, Australia

Need to be on the agenda of important forums

This piece of the manuscript is the tip of the ice burg and brainstorming to launch a discussion regarding this precious organic material. I hope to hear from different quarters and to find ways for its judicious use. The GAA of the FAO can be a great forum to address this issue.

Practical understanding, manure production, and the compost with the dates palms’ left over

A dairy camel weighing 600 kg produces 15-17 kg dry manure daily. The racing and other camels produce half of that quantity (8 kg/day). In 1000 camels’ dairy, the dairy manure production is about 16,000 kg. All these assets are going to waste. On the other hand, date palm leftover is also going to waste. There is no use at all. The camel dung (with a high and diversified level of microflora) can be a potential decomposing agent for date palm waste. Both wastes in combination can be a potential asset for organic farming in the region.

The best use of camel manure

  1. Farm Yard Manure/fertilizer
  2. Material to combat desertification and dune fixing
  3. Converting into liquid fertilizer and injecting into the soil for fertility enrichment
  4. Bio-paper
  5. Bio-gas
  6. Power generation
Camel-Dung-as-Fuel-Source.jpg

References

  1. Bijal P. Trivedi. 2002. Llama Dung May Be Used to Clean Bolivia Water Supply. National Geographic Published online (ttp://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/02/0205_0205TVllamadung.html)
  2. Godfrey Uzodinma Iregbu, Ibrahim Hayatu Kubkomawa, Chidiogo Grace Okoli, Emanuel Chinedum Ogundu, Martin Chukwudi Uchegbu, Ifeanyi Charles Okoli. 2014. Environmental concerns of pig waste production and its potentials as biofuel source Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences 2014; 1(3): 17-24. Published online November 10, 2014 (http://www.openscienceonline.com/journal/javs)
  3. M. Irshad, A. E. Eneji, Z. Hussain and M. Ashraf. 2013. Chemical characterization of fresh and composted livestock manures. Journal of soil science and plant nutrition. Published online (http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0718-95162013005000011)
  4. Hoffmann, I. & Mohammed, I. 2004. The role of nomadic camels for manuring farmer’s fields in the Sokoto close-settled zone, Northwest Nigeria. Nomadic Peoples 8(1): 1-14.
  5. https://arkbiodiv.com/2019/01/10/camel-manure-compost-trial-in-alain-uae/

40 thoughts on “Camels’ Manure~From Waste to a Worthwhile Farming Agent”

    1. Dear Sir,
      depending on the chemical parameters (N,P,K, ODM, DM) of Camel dung it might be possible to make a good compost of it. And even better if you can make a mixure with organic matter from Municipal Solid Waste. Than you would also need a MSW processing / separation facility. If there is a need for renewable energy you can produce this from biogas (electrical, heat or else) then the organic matter from camel dung + organic part of MSW can be processed in a biogas plant producing biogas and fertiliser. http://www.adverio.eu
      We can make a feasibility study and concept engineering for such a plant for the client. Provide us with basic information and we make you an offer.

    2. Thank you for the information!
      I wonder something as well, it has very limited weeds’ seeds as camels merely depend on browsing of larger trees in which rate of seed browsing is minimal. However, small ruminants and cattle have higher access to ingest weeds’ seeds hence, their unprocessed/ not decomposed manure will be resulted in growing of weeds whenever used in farms.

      1. If you can please tell me about your location and work. Then I will give you suggestion and involve you in camel research, especially manure.

  1. I found some more references as; the camel dung is not different in quality from cow and other ruminants’ dung. Also that camel rumen is more efficient to recycle nutrients. This phenomenon makes the camel dung more soft and increase its solubility in the soil. A friend from Australia commented in facebook page on the link as stated; she used camel dung which is far better in results than others but need proper process and treatment to make a proper compost.

  2. Pingback: Camels’ Manure~From Waste to a Worthwhile Farming Agent | Camel, food security and climate change – WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  3. Here are some comments pasted on my facebook page regarding the usefulness of camel manure in Australia.
    Tabitha Bilaniwskyj-Zarins
    Here are some herbs and vegetable seedlings grown in composted camel manure, euc/pine mulch and coarse sand. Full of worms. The picture is given inside the text.
    Raziq Ark Biodiversity
    The idea is really great . We have manure in bulk quantity . I have point of view to use dates palm waste with camels manure to make a compst with high level of moisture keeping quality
    Tabitha Bilaniwskyj-Zarins
    Yes that will work well. If you are sowing seed direct into the ground this will be a great way to add moisture. Perhaps place some thick see through plastic over in a tunnel like structure to generate moisture to aid in the breakdown of materials. But make sure there is enough oxygen getting to it also. You will know the quality by the look, feel and smell of the compost. Camel dung has amazing microbes that break down other materials very very quickly, as i have said.

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  5. Reblogged this on Small Scaled Farmers and the pastoralists are the backbones of animal agriculture. They play a pivotal role not only in producing quality food item but also conserving the genetic resources as well as nature for the next generations. Contrast to the factory farming small scaled farming and pastoralism do not use (up to their level best) pesticides and chemical fertilizers etc. They do not harm the nature by the blind use of inputs like energy and water. They are the custodians of the genes and nature. and commented:

    Still a waste?

  6. Pingback: Camel Manure~Some Feedback from the Different Quarters of the World | Camel, food security and climate change

  7. i get it as excellent information especially for desert area of Ethiopian context. thanks for the information.

  8. Great work sir..Further research on this can minimize the use of inorganic fertilizers which are very hazardous to the ecosystem.

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  11. Pingback: Camel Manure Compost Trial in Alain, UAE | Communities' Animal Genetic Resources and Food Security

    1. This is great. I’m working on a project in Liwa, perhaps we could discuss to do a trial plot for food production there. Please let me know a good time to discuss.

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  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYtRVE1vSxg
    Using camel manure in energy production for the cement factory and replacing some share of the coal is really a good idea to minimize the carbon production. I personally have very little agreement with the burning of this very precious farm agent, the camel manure. The camel manure is very rich with soil fertility agents as the camel gut is home to a very rich and diverse microbiome. The camel manure must find ways to play a role in soil fertility and farm enrichment. It can be used as a tool of desert biodiversity support and decreasing the flying sands.

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  17. Pingback: Breaking news from camels’ world – our team found the ever best results of camel manure compost – SUSTAINABLE FARMING FOR FOOD AND HEALTH

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