My Recommendations for the first King Abdul Aziz camel conference in Riyadh


The first conference of its kind

The first King Abdulaziz International Conference on Camels, under the title “Camel Economics and Studies”, with the participation of several international and local speakers, specializing in camels started on 19th December in Nova hotel, Rimah Riyadh Saudi Arabia. The unique conference was organized in accordance with the King Abdul Aziz camel festival, which is one of the largest camel events in the world.

Author with the conference flyer
Author with the conference flyer

Aims of the conference

The conference aimed to exchange ideas, information, and the latest studies in the field of camels, to support the efforts of researchers, scientists, and those interested in scientific bodies, livestock breeders in general, and camel breeders in particular.https://www.arabnews.com/tags/king-abdul-aziz-camel-festival

Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar with Dr Mubarak Swelem, the secretary general of the ICO
Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar with Dr. Mubarak Swelem, the secretary-general of the ICO in Riyadh

Multistakeholders camel conference on camel

It was a 3 days conference, many participants and scientists attended it from the different corners of the world, the Middle East, Europe, South Asia, China, the US, and international bodies like FAO, UNESCO, and others. I delivered my talk on ‘the socioeconomic role of the camel under the climate change scenario and the demand for camel milk’ as a first technical speaker.

Recommendations and further steps need to be taken

At the end of the talk, I concluded my talk as recommendations, which are given in the ensuing lines.

  • The camel farmers/beduins need support as they are facing climate change catastrophe, revegetation of the deserts with the help of new technologies can provide feeding opportunities to the camels in future, the native flora revegetation will work as two prong solution – food for livestock and provision shelter to the wildlife
  • The desert is a living phenomenon and its life is strongle connected with the grazing practice (conversion of woody vegetation into manure), especially the camels. The desert without camels will loose its fertility and the carbon (sunk in rangelands) will be release into the atmosphere which is an irreversable loss to the environment 
  • ICO can take more active part in coordinating of the multistakeholders platform on camel production, milk, meat etc
  • I recomend International Camel Organization (ICO) to arrange a conference (one in 2 years) and ensure the participation of the international camel scientists, production professionals, representatives of the camels organization (from Asia and Africa) to ensure a consistant camel policy at global level
  • Knowledge management, we have information about the camels but knowledge is very sporadic. Documentation of the available traditional knowledge with the support of universities as well as translation of the camel science in Arabic will be a great step
  • Channellisation (milk) through cameleers cooperatives , the milk of the camel can assure an additional income for a sustainable camel production. This way the camel milk business will not go in the hands of few giant companies but with the cameleers (the major share).
  • Giving a chance to the female cameleers to take part in the camel milk business. I have a very scientific module for involving females in camel dairying to enhance their income, promote family wellness and the health of mother and kids
  • The government can buy (camel milk) with subsidized rates and can provide to the schools children (heritage/slow food), hospitals (natural health), and police/army personal (stronger security). The countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and other gulf states can easily support such initiatives
  • Camel mapping as a pilot project – start from KSA and manipulate in other parts of the world. This will help in a wide primary data about the camels, size of herd, male:female, herd composition, milk production, consumption of camel products, prospects of camel keepers etc

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