Yawn May Reveal How Smart You Are.

The longest yawn periods tell the intensity of the intelligence. The yawning duration in human is 6 seconds followed by camel with the 5 minutes duration. This statement means that this precious animal (the camel) is next to human in intelligence.  Your yawn may reveal how smart you are: Mammals with bigger and more complex brains gape for longer Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3821906/Your-yawn-reveal-smart-Mammals-bigger-complex-brains-gape-longer.html#ixzz4NL8bIFod Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook. Some other animals like rats, African elephant, horses, etc also have a longer duration of a yawn after humans. There is need of a study to compare the yawn duration among these species of animals to reveal the smartest animal. yawning-camel

According to the camel keepers, the camel is the most intelligent animal. I have visited and traveled with camel herders in different parts of the world. Assessing the potential of the indigenous livestock breeds of Baluchistan. I have been asking this question very often, the answer was always yes ‘they are very intelligent’. They learn very quickly. They understand commands of the owner. camelyawning_knuttz

I hope someone will work on this side of camel too, to understand the exact potential and intelligence of camel.

A Blend of Indigenous Knowledge and Native Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture Ensure Food Security

I am Raziq belong to the remote and the poorly infra-structured area of Pakistan named as the Balochistan province. I completed my PhD dissertation on the local livestock especially camel and pastoralism. I worked in the north-eastern part of Balochsitan known as the Suleiman Mountainous Region. Actually two areas of the north-eastern Balochsitan i.e. Suleiman region and the Kakar Khurasan are the cradle of the livestock breeds and rich in organic agriculture. The people of the area rarely use synthetic means to cure their animals and to increase the fertility of the lands.

I would like and wish to write in detail about the practices the local farmers use to produce organic food and to explain their efforts to save the friendly environment, which might not be possible in one email. I would like to write on each topic in detail on by one. Please find below a brief of my study on organic practices by the pastorals in Suleiman mountainous region in Pakistan.

What the pastorals do?

In Suleiman mountainous region, about 96% of the pastoral people of the region depends on the organic farming, out of which 97% follow seasonal migration along with their livestock with or with out their families. All the flood irrigated agriculture is practice without using chemical fertilizer and pesticides. Only the tall local variety of wheat is used for the flood irrigating agricultural fields. Majority of the farmers follow their indigenous star calendar for the crop cultivation and animal breeding program. About 83% of the pastoral people believed that indigenous knowledge is more reliable, easy applicable and cheaper than western style of medication. The pastoral people preferred to use their own animal based products like Ghurree (butter oil), butter, Shlombey (whey), Kurht (dried cheese) and Lanthi meat rather than the products available in the market for the same purpose. The region is very famous for organic agriculture and livestock production in pastoral system, since centuries. They use flood water for irrigation of their Bandat (small dams or plats). The flood water is rich source of organic manure composed of soft mud, animal dung and foliage. They fill their Bandat in Wassa (monsoon or wet season) many times, to further increase soil fertility and the soil humidity shelf life. At the end of the Wassa (October) crop fields are ploughed mostly by bullocks and asses but the large farmers use tractors for this purpose.pastoral livestock

The current higher fuel prices and the continuous land distribution between the increasing numbers of families once again increase the use of working animal for ploughing. No flood water is applied after sowing of the crops and only natural precipitation provides humidity. The crop of wheat is harvest in the month of June, and if the early monsoon starts the Bandat are again filled and the pulses or grains crop like sorghum, millet and maize is cultivated. These all crops are used by the farmers themselves and very small portion are spare for sale. In many cases they offer the surplus grains to their animals in rainy days. Only the large farmers have excess crop than their use. The lands are use mostly for one crop annually and therefore, sustain their fertility.

The local varieties of crops are used which are already resistant to diseases. The farmer of the area uses the tall varieties of the wheat, which are disease and drought resistant. The variety also insect resistant and wild bird like sparrow cannot eat its grains in milky stage. The tall variety of wheat also produces more straw for their animals than the dwarf hybrid verities. The straw is offered to the animals especially cattle in the dry and scarce period.

Majority of the pastoral people (96%) depends upon the organic agriculture and livestock production. The pastoral people exercise a regular system of migration. Aujla and Jasra, (1996) also reported that the pastoral communities throughout Balochistan fallow a regular pattern of migration depending upon various factors. About 97% of the pastoral people follow seasonal migration along with their livestock with or with out their families. They transport their families and luggage on the back of camels, asses and sometime bullocks are also used for this purpose. The pastoral people have two types of settlements in a year depending upon the vegetation, water availability and season. Their movement originates from the winter settlement (Mena) after the wheat harvest and move upward in the high mountains to summer or wet season settlement (Gholie). They use the vegetation of the highlands and the pleasant and cool weather. The spent wet season there, graze the fresh and succulent vegetation. The well drained topography during the wet season of monsoon result in the lower risk of disease outbreak especially the foot and mouth disease. Some herbal plants found on the highlands like Artimisia, Ephedra and others are well praised for their health friendly characteristics. The farmers believe that offering these herbal plants once in summer keep the animals away from diseases round the year.

Then the pastoral people come down in the autumn after harvesting the vegetation of the high Alps to keep their animals in comparatively warmer and favorable environment. The winter grazing area is strictly banned for grazing in summer and wet season and such a system is known as Pargorr locally. The animals graze on comparative low lands in winter near the crop fields and Piedmont.

Star Calendar and Indigenous Knowledge

The farmers strictly follow the star calendar Permani for sowing and cultivation of the crops. This system is the part of their centuries old indigenous knowledge. The same calendar is used for the animal breeding, movement, housing management and all other livestock related activities. By the grace of this system the farmers save their livestock and agriculture from the heavy use of medicine and pesticides. About 83% of the pastoral people believed that indigenous knowledge is more reliable, easy applicable and cheap than western style of medication. Their mode of life, production system and pastoral way of life make their life easy, near to nature and health friendly.

Food preference and behavior 

The pastoral people preferred to use their own products mainly based on organic agriculture, rather than the products available in the market. They use wheat, maize, sorghum, millet and pulses from agriculture origin. The animal products like Ghurree (butter oil), butter, and Lamm (fats of the fat tailed seep), Shlombey (whey), Kurth (dried cheese) and milk are used in the spring and summer seasons. In winter they use Lanthi meat and animal fats to coup with the cold waves of winter season. Lanthi is a dry meat prepared by drying meat under natural temperatures, humidity and circulation of the air, including direct influence of sun rays. The cool and dry air of the region is well suited for this type of preservation. This method is the oldest method of meat preservation. It consists of a gradual dehydration of pieces of meat cut to a specific uniform shape that permits the equal and simultaneous drying of whole batches of meat. Such a meat is prepared from the mutton of sheep, beef of cattle and camel. Camel milk is very much liked by the pastoral people. They know the health friendly characteristics of camel milk and Kohi camel is the best of the area for reasonable milk yield while keeping on ordinary range like conditions (Raziq and Younas, 2006).

Woman Role

Women help in feeding, milking and management of animals at home and taking care of young and sick animals. She also takes part in the crop production and harvesting activities. The women manage all the activities at home like cooking, cleaning and washing and bringing water from outsides. She cares the home and the kids for all necessities (Raziq, 2006, 07).

Conclusion

The study concluded that organic farming still provides safe and secure food to the majority of the people residing in the region, especially the pastoral people. The better health status of the people of the area is due to this precious food which is produced without the deleterious residues of chemicals and pesticides. There is need to save this system as the increasing commercial agriculture and vegetable production is a threat for that system. For more vegetable production, heavy use of pesticide and fertilizers is practiced which results in the adulteration of the food chain. The old and organic system is not only a production system but also the part of the heritage and culture of the area. So there is need to conserve this system, their crop verities and animal breeds according to their own needs and perspectives.

Lessons learnt from droughts in North-eastern Balochistan

We are the custodian of the livestock breeds, so we tried our best as our ancestors did to save it at any cost.

The first possible solution for the problem to save livestock in hard years we found is culling of the larger herd/flocks. To sell out the sick, old, weak and unproductive animals in the start of the dry period is an important tool to fight against the drought. Spend the money gained through the sale of the culled animals on the feeding and health of the animals.

We learnt that we must divide the livestock specie wise, i.e. sending the goat flocks to the high mountains along with the donkeys and young vigorous family members. There was still vegetation in the mountains but there was scarcity of water. The young men can convey water on the donkey back to the goat in remote as the indigenous goat consumes lesser amount of water. Movement of the camel to the remote is also the solution for saving camel. The camel can consume woody vegetation in the remote highlands and can resist water scarcity.

We learnt that camel is the main solution for the drought period. Camel can reach to the remote water point after a long period of grazing. The remote vegetation can be judiciously consume by camel in winter as camel need water once in a week in winter. The camel is also fit for traveling and transportation of family luggage in the inaccessible areas of the mountainous ecology of our region.

Animal health cure is also very important in the dry years, as the weak and emaciated animals are more prone to disease.

Livestock Ecological Zones in Balochistan

Ecological zones of  Balochistan province of Pakistan

The ecological zones already presented in the literature are based on the agronomic prcatices, temperature, rainfall etc. In the present study the ecological zones were sketched on the basis of the local penology, type and production systems of livestock, temperature, rainfall etc. It was revealed that there are six ecological zones for livestock rather than four revealed by literature (Source: National Master Agricultural Research Plan, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council).

The following ecological zones were revealed in the province.

1. Suleiman Mountainous Region (SMR)

This region includes Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Barkhan, part of Loralai and Zhob, Musakhail and Sherani districts of the province. The Suleiman mountain series is located south to north and bordering between Punjab and Balochistan province. The region has rich culture and is the historic homeland of Pashtoon. The climate of the region is mild in summer because of the high altitude and rains in monsoon time. The temperature reaches to 32 C° in summer and drops below zero in winter. Some parts, especially the peaks of the mountains are very cold in winter. The annual precipitation ranges from 300-600 mm per year and the main source of rain is monsoon (GOB, 1999). Some areas receive snow and rains in winter also.

The SMR is the home tract of a wide plant biodiversity and the the vegetation of the region comprises trees like Zizyphus nummolaria (Karkana), Ziz. mauritiana (ber), Z. sativa (Helani), Oleao ferruginea (Showan), Oleao officinalus (showan), pistacia cabulica (wanna), tamarix indica (Ghaz), Prunus eburnean (Zarga, zangli badam) and salvadora oleoides (pilu or perpegh). Bushes of the regions are as fallowing. Haloxylon recurvum (Ghelmi), nannorhops ritchieana (Mazari or Pish), Caragana ambigua (makhie), alhagi camelorum, (Aghzai or Tindan) and periploca aphylla (Barar). The grasses include stipa capillata (Saba), cocculus leæba (Parwatgi), sorghum halepense (Barawa), allium sphærocephalum (khokhae) and Atriplex canescens (sargarae). Livestock agriculture is the centuries old occupation of the inhabitants. The region has wide biodiversity of livestock species and breeds. The major livestock breeds are as following.

Camel; Kohi, cattle; Kohi-Suleiman or Lohani, donkey; Shinghari and Sperki or Pidie, horse; Balochi, sheep; Kakari, Musakhaili, Kajjale and Bybrik and goat; Kohi Suleimani. The tribes of the region are Kakar, Sherani, Mandokhail, Babar, Harifal, Musakhail, Zamari, Marghzani, Essot, Jaffar, Buzdar, Syed, Kethran, Hasni, Mari, Zarkoon and Bugti.

2. Northern highlands (NHL)

This region includes hitoric Kakar Khurasan, Loralai, Zirat, Zhob, Pishin, Qillaabdullah and Quetta vallies. The region falls in the north of the province bordering Afghanistan. The area has very cold winter usually dry. The summers had been mild but some herders beleive that the temperature has been increased during the last few years. This region is severely affected and the rangelands are degraded due to many reasons, i.e. influx of Afghan Migrants, over population, deforestation and the long prevailed drought (1994-2004). The climate of the region is mild in summer because of the high altitude and some eastern part of the region receives rains in monsoon time. The temperature reaches to 30 C° in summer and drops below zero in winter. The region is the coldest region of the province. The annual precipitation ranges from 250-600 mm per anum and mostly receives in winter in form of snow (GOB, 1999).

the major vegetation of the region comprises trees like Zizyphus nummolaria, Oleao ferruginea, Oleao officinalus, pistacia cabulica, Prunus eburnean, Tamarax aphylla, Juniporis excels and Pinus Geranandiana. The bushes are the major feed of camel and comprises of Haloxylon recurvum, nannorhops ritchieana, Caragana ambigua, alhagi camelorum, and periploca aphylla. The grasses include stipa capillata, cocculus leæba, sorghum halepense, allium sphærocephalum, and Atriplex canescens.  The region has wide livestock biodiversity of livestock species and breeds. The major livestock breeds are, camel; Raigi, cattle; Kohi Suleimani, donkey; Shinghari and Sperki or Pidie, sheep; Kakari, Dumeri or Hernai, Gosalli or Kajalle, and goat; Khurasani and Kohi Suleimani. The tribes of the region are Kakar, Pani, Achakzai, Tareen, Syed, Ghilzai, and Barraich.

3. Central Brahvi Highlands (CBH)

This region comprises Mastung, Kalat, Khuzdar, mountainous part of Dhadar and Awaran districts of Balochistan province. The region is characterized by high and arid mountains with very hot summers and very cold winters. The temperature may reach to 49 C° in summer and fall below zero in winter. The rainfall of the region is low and erratic (100-200 mm per year) (GOB, 1999). The vegetation of the region consists of Tamarix, Halloxylon grifithii, Alhaji camelorum, Sacharum revanae, Chrysopogon aucheri, C. mantanus, C. schoenanthus, Cenchrus ciliaris and Pannisetum orientale. The livestock breeds of the region are Brahvi camel, Mangeli sheep and Lehri goat. The tribes of the region are Maingul, Samalani, Zehri, Raesani, Bangulzai, Lehri, Rakhshani, Bezenjo, Bajoi, Lango, Muhammad Shahi, Dehwar, Kurd, shahwani, Gichki, Mirwani, Muhammad Hasani and Gurgnari.

4. Kachhi Basin Region

This region comprises of Sibi, part of Dhadar, Jaffarabad, Naseerababd, Lehri and Jhal Magsi locale of the province. The region is plain area, formed of alluvial soil and slopes from north to south with an elevation of about 50 to 100 meters above sea level. The climate of the region is hot and becomes extremely hot and humid in summer. The harshness of summer is prolonged over the months of May, June, July, August, September, and October. It is mildly hot in April. Summer begins from mid March and lasts to the end of October. In winters the weather is pleasant all over the district. It lasts from December to January. The months of April, November and February are pleasant. The humidity is highest in summer, particularly in the area adjacent to the Pat feeder canal, where rice cultivation takes place. The type of vegetation in the region includes Spicigra (Kandi), Capparis Aphylla (Kirar), Salvadora Olevides (Khabbar), Sisyphus jujuba (Bari) and Calotropis Gi Gantea (Ak). The breeds of livestock are the famous Bhagnari cattle, Berberi goat, Balochi sheep and Aseel chicken. The tribes of the region, in the north there are Pani and Kakar Pashtoon tribes and in the south is Rind, Lehri, Somro, Bugti, Mari, Khoso, Jamali, Jatoi and Resai.

5. Chaghai Kharan Desert (CKD)

Chaghai Kharan is one of the famous ecological zones of the country and comprises of the districts Chaghai, Kharan, Noshki, Washuk and part of Makran. The region is unique of its kind and mostly comprised of disserted plains, steppe and mountainous desert. The region is located in the extreme west of Pakistan bound on the north by the desert region (Raig) of Afghanistan. The region is hyper dry and receives very less precipitation in winter and spring from the Mediterranean winds and very rare rains in the summer. The temperature of the region crosses the digit of 40 in the months of June, July and August. The summers are very hotter with minimum rainfall, which worsen the situation more. The region is home tract of many herbal plants and bushes which are being use for grazing of livestock especially camel and goat since unknown times. The speedy deforestation of those bushes, long drought and over grazing had adverse the condition of the region and its ecological landscape diversity is under threat.

The major vegetation includes tree species like Khanjak, (Pistecia Khanjak), Ghaz (Tamarix Articula), shrub like Taghaz (Haloxylon Amodendron), bushes like Hashwarg (Rhozya Stricta), Pog (Calegnum Polygonaides) Cotor (Stockcia Brohinca), Lara (Salsola Kali), Kandar (Alhogi Camelarum), Barshonk, Karwankush, Narronk (Salsola Arbuscula), Tusso (Gaillaina Aucheri) and grasses like Mughair (Atriplex Dimprphostegium), Kash (Sacchorum Siliare), Righith (Suoeda Monica) Shanaluk (Allium Rubellum). The breeds of the region are Kharani camel, Khurasani and Morak goat and Rakhshani sheep. The tribes of the region are Badeni, Muhammad Hasani, Maingul, Jamaldini, Sasoli, Sanjrai, Nothezi, Nausherwani, Malangzai, Siafad, Faqirzai and Hajizai.

6. Balochistan Coastal Region (BCR)

The region is comprised of Lasbella and Makran locale of the region. The climate of the region is hot and humid. The temperature reaches to 40 °C in summer and reaches to 6 °C in winter. The annual rainfall is very low and precipitates about 125 mm per year.

The extensive plains have vast area of sparse vegetation which includes plants species like Salsola sp., Panicum antidotale, Alerupus repens, A. macrstachyus, Cnechrus ciliaris, C. pennisetiformis, C. religerus, C. biflrus besides there are Prosopis cineraria, Salvadora oleoides, Capparis aphylla, Zizyphus sp and Prosopis juliflora. The breeds of the region are Lassi camel and Balochi sheep. The tribes of the region are Lassi, Bizenjo, Jam, Somro, Khoso and Jamali.

My Bios (Dr Abdul Raziq)

I opened my eyes in the home of Hassan Khan, a strong man of Kakar Pashtoon/Afghan tribe of northeastern Baluchistan, province of Pakistan. My forefathers had been living in that habitat along with their precious livestock breeds in the rich grassland of the region. Our family still has flocks of sheep and goat, rearing in agro-pastoral production system. I have built in knowledge of indigenous livestock production and PhD level modern expertise about animal agriculture. I had been working with the pastoral people for last 10 years, while motivating livestock keepers for their rights, access to grazing lands, benefit sharing of their animal genetic resources and resource development of the pastoral people under the patronage of society of animal, vet and environmental scientists (SAVES). I gave multiple training to the livestock keepers in remote for breed characterization and conservation, rangelands management and other valuable techniques. I had been providing veterinary medical camps to livestock of the pastoral communities. I am the pioneer and author of community bio-cultural protocols (BCP). I am also the author of the dry net report on the documentation of indigenous livestock breeds. I had been traveling with the Afghan nomads (Kochis) to work and document their indigenous knowledge of livestock husbandry. I had been working with the livestock and dairy development department of Baluchistan for extensive livestock production in the remote areas of the province.

I organized camel scientists and herder in Pakistan and founded Camel Association of Pakistan. Recently in Jan. 2010, we organized 3 days livestock keepers meeting under the patronage of SAVES and discussed the Bio-cultural protocol and organized an organization with the name of Indigenous Livestock Breeders Association (ILBA) for the livestock keepers of the country. I presented many international research presentations at various occasions. I have visited many countries and research stations.

Specialties

  • Extensive livestock production systems
  • Animal breeding & genetics and community-based breeding management
  • Biodiversity and climate change
  • Different aspects of dromedary camel, i.e. turning camel from a beast of burden to a sustainable farm animal
  • Indigenous knowledge of livestock and agro-ecosystems
  • Ethnoveterinary medicine and local knowledge, especially livestock keepers
  • Rangelands management and vegetation
  • Socioeconomic existence of pastoralism
  • Biocultural community protocol