Shifting from cattle to the camel in Africa
African nomads are shifting from cattle to camel for survival under the shadows of climate change, yes there are many reports/studies in the recent decade. Not only the pastoralists but the dairy entrepreneurs are also choosing camels for a profitable milk business. There are many emerging camel milk businesses in Africa, especially in the horn of Africa. In the list provided in the link of the camel milk companies globally, one can see many from Africa. Though this list is not a complete list yet. Camel Milk Business – The Global Camel Milk Companies
The cow is the most important farm animal in parts of Africa but climate change is threatening the existence of the animal. Recurring droughts and extreme heat are making cows unable to produce essential milk. Camel produces milk in harsh conditions where other farm animals are hard to survive.
Camel and goats are the best to fill the gaps
A study revealed (2022) that climate change is adversely affecting the cow dairy potential in northern sub-Saharan Africa, threatening livelihoods and food security, mainly because of heat and drought stress, affecting the physiology of the cattle adversely. The camel is the strongest and retaliates against the stresses caused by climate change. The cattle production was worsened by 17% and in response, the people replace the gaps by increasing the number of goats (14%) and camels (10%) while reducing the dairy cattle population by ∼24%. The study revealed that shifting herd composition from cattle towards the inclusion of, or replacement with, goats and camels can secure milk production and support NSSA’s dairy production resilience against climate change. A shift from cattle to camel and goat farming can sustain milk production with lower inputs and emissions in north sub-Saharan Africa’s drylands
Camel is the woman’s choice
The woman pastoralists are smarter and prefer camels as dairy entrepreneurs to cow business. Unlike cows, camels can withstand long periods of extreme drought and still produce milk all year round. Some 200 women have already made the switch from cow to camel milk. Camel milk is healthier and pleasant in taste. The move has improved living conditions for many, especially because they are able to sell milk from their camels at a competitive price. In the following links, you can read further about the emerging camel dairies in the horn of Africa. Here is the link to an article about the emerging phenomenon of shifting, you can read the links provided over there. Kenya’s dairy industry switches from cows to camels | Global Ideas