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.

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.

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.

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.

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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