World Camel Day celebrated at UAF
Outbreak of various diseases is posing real threats to existence of camels in South Asia and Middle East, responsible for a decline in its number. The speakers addressed a seminar held in connection with World Camel Day arranged by Livestock Management Department, University of Agriculture Faisalabad in collaboration with Camel Association of Pakistan at New Senate Hall.
Addressing on the occasion, UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that amid the climate changes, diversified livestock is essential to meet the requirement of milk and meat. He said that the UAF has introduced Dachi milk, (camel milk). He said that camel milk is highly nutritious and contains only 2% fat. Being higher in some nutrients and lower in others, camel milk is rich in vitamin C, iron and calcium. He said that the country was only focusing on cow and buffaloes. The camel can live without the water for two weeks. He said that heat tolerant and drought resistance crop varieties can be developed by getting the genes from camels. He added the promotion of camels will also help the country fulfill future challenges of milk and meat demands. He said that in Middle East, camels were in high demand. The country should tap the opportunity to earn the foreign exchange.
German Scientist Dr Ilse Kohler-Rollesfson as many as one million camels are in Pakistan. She said a sharp declining trend of Camels is witnessed in India. It is alarming that India is having only 0.2 million of camels which were one million around 20 years ago. She stressed the need for creating the markets for camels that will help in poverty alleviation.
International Society of Camel Research Development representative Dr Abdul Raziq said that camel can tolerate heat. In the scenario, when the global warming is devastating, the animal can help the countries meet the demands of milk and meat. He said that the few research work is being carried out on its genetics, breeding etc that is an area of concern. He said that the camel is the also an animal of coastal areas and can swim. Dean Faculty of Animal Husbandry Prof Dr Ahsan-ul-Haq said camels have always been the best means of transportation in deserts and their importance especially in desert areas cannot be overlooked. He stressed upon the need to get benefit from its potential. He said that highly nutrient milk of camels will help the people to overcome the malnutrition.
Department of Livestock Management Chairman Prof Dr Muhammad Younas said that country was having a lack of data of camels. He said that the university had mapped out a comprehensive plan to market Dachi milk, (camel milk) introduced by UAF. Camel Breeding and Research Station Rakh Mahni Dr Shahid Nabeel said that in Punjab, five breeds of the camels exist. He said that his department is making all out efforts for the breeding and research work on camel. Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi talked about the reproduction of camels. He said that the research work on the breeding of camels is essential. Dr Tanvir and other notables also spoke on the occasion.