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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Livestock Sector Development in China


China, being the largest country with human population has developed its livestock sector efficiency manifolds in last 2 decades. China transformed its production system from a rural based subsistence system to a high in-put and intensive system.  The challenge of malnutrition and hunger was beaten by three prong approaches, i.e.

A. Policy Development

B. Investment  in Agriculture sector

C. Farm Mechanization and Technology transfer

Now China has enough food to feed it more than 1 billion population on one hand and export some food item on the other hand. All types of animal and plants products are available at comparatively cheaper prices. The food crisis especially of animal origin is no more prevailing.

The other very appealing development in China’s livestock sector is the proper manure management. The manure is used for Bio-gas production and then transformed in LPG or use for power generation. Such development is very much in coordination with the vision of the GAA and sustainable livestock agenda of the FAO.

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On the other hand, such high in-put livestock production system resulted in some very serious and negative effects. The native genetic resources for food and agriculture are at stake and many of them are already vanished. Such losses are very noticeable in poultry, pig and cattle genetic resources. Also, small scaled livestock production systems and pastoralism are adversely affected adversely. The importance of all the above three unique resources are well recognized and appreciated globally. The Chinese scientists have realized this phenomenon and striving to cover the losses and improve products quality through minimizing chemical in puts (pesticides, weedicides, synthetic fertilizer) and stimulate organic & Eco agriculture at country level.

Chinese agriculture and livestock sector is a good lesson to learn for the developing nations. Enough food provision is not the only task but a sustainable and eco-friendly production is the ultimate way for a bright future of a nation.

Livestock for Futures and Global Agenda of Action (GAA)


Livestock for Futures and Global Agenda of Action (GAA)

There is ever increasing demand for meat, milk and other livestock products because of crawling urbanization, developing economies, population pressure and awareness about livestock based food stuffs (contrary to developed countries, where the people are minimizing usage of animal products, especially meat). Up to 2050, there is a challenge of more meat and milk 74 % and 52% respectively to fulfil nutritional requirements. In the meanwhile some hot issues are also interconnected to livestock i.e. food security, environmental issues, feed and water scarceness, human health and biodiversity etc. In the above mentioned situation GAA stresses for a sustainable livestock production systems to keep a smooth course of animal based food products.

To understand the chemistry of sustainable livestock production, we need to know in depth about the current livestock production systems prevailing in at global level. In a broader sense there are two production systems like that of high input livestock production systems (HILPS) and small scaled livestock production systems (SSLPS).

High Input Livestock Production system (HILPS) is composed of high yielding genetic resources (cattle, pig, chicken, maize and soy), heavy mechanization/automation, large strips of land, heavy loans and subsidies, tax payer money, modern education/techniques, processing plants and corporate sector support. The system provokes import of feed resources, especially soy and export food items and even manure. Such system demands huge consumption of fossil oil which further complicates the question of sustainability.

On the other hand, SSLPS depend on a wide flora and fauna biodiversity. This system not only produces healthier food but also provides eco-system services and touristic opportunities. The system is highly sustainable and evolved with precious traditional knowledge. This system relies on local feed resources and high level import of feed resources is out of question.

Threats from High Input Livestock Production system (HILPS)

To beat the challenges of ever increasing food items, HILP is generally supported among the policy makers to beat this challenge. In contrary small-scaled livestock production (SSLP) is always neglected and even considered as backward and worthless. The rich industrialized livestock production system is getting more and more volume while engulfing small scale farming consequential in a threat to precious biodiversity of livestock and other related biomasses. The use of narrow based genetic material making it susceptible to catastrophe of certain genes’ linked diseases which further deepens the concerns about its sustainability. The present HILP is not sustainable and this bubble cannot inflate further. The rupture of this bubble can create further catastrophes which demands for making it sustainable. Regrettably, such theme is still embryonic among the policy makers.

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In Europe, USA and other industrialized countries the number of farms are lessening and number of livestock is increasing. Such intensification provokes other problems like that of environment and animal welfare. HILPS is centered on high level import of Soy and corn from Latin America resulting in marginalization of small keepers over there and promote land grabbing. The precious and wide biodiversity of rain forests is on stake because of this mega monster.

Recommendation

To achieve the goal of sustainable livestock future, some suggestions are hereby presented in the ensuing lines.

  • Taking small scaled livestock keepers on-board at policy levels (local, national, regional  and international levels) is the paramount need of time
  • Linking small farmers with the market through branding of its products and value addition
  • A diverse livestock production system based on a many pillars, like biodiversity, TK, culture, heritage, ecosystem services and management, native livestock breeds, is more sustainable and can produce healthy food
  • There is utmost need of time to understand and study SSLPS and evaluate in a broader module to compare with HILPS
  • Convincing consumers to pay more for the products come from the pastoral and small scale livestock keepers
  • Agriculture should declare as heritage but not only food production factory by the developing countries
  • Promotion of production in balance, not import feed and not export manure

The above paragraphs were written in the context of GAA of the FAO and Livestock for Futures Conference in Bonn, Germany.

For further reading please go to the links below.