Forgotten and neglected but the still inevitable tool of small-scale livestock keepers and pastoralists in driest lands of the world, ensure livelihood and food availability. Among the camel keepers, more than 70% are small scaled keepers, owning 5-15 camels. Amid small farmers, the camel is used for very diverse operations; water harvesting, agricultural operations and also producing milk. While for the pastoralists, it ensures their movement in hard terrains during the harsh climatic conditions. The camel ensures food endowment (milk) in conditions when other livestock species struggle for their survival. Camel! A One in All Creatures. Camels have been playing the pivotal role as a multipurpose animal, especially in the extreme drylands of the world. The camel is a forgotten combatant, who played the role even in the development of modern countries like Australia1. With the onset of the automobile revolution, the Dark Age (1960-2000) of camel happened, the beast was almost neglected and rejected as an untuneful farm animal. Ultimately, the camel converted from a caravan animal to an animal of small scaled livestock keepers and pastoralists (nomads, Bedouins, Kochis, etc.). They had been using camels for very diverse goals; accessibility, food provision, cultural and heritage desires etc. Unfortunately, the camel, the main one being the lack of awareness about this unique species. Due to prevailing droughts, climate change, interesting results from camel science, the camel has gained much attention again since the year, 2000.
The recent studies have shown that the camel is an immense candidate which can meet the milk requirements of the pastoral people and as well as other population if managed, bred and fed properly. Some planned and integrated efforts are required in camel concentration areas to undertake research and auxiliary developments on this species and its allied disciplines.
The time has come to know and exploit the true potential of the camel and to find the ways to sustain this old industry for the cause of the conservation of important animal genetic resource and transform it in a modern entrepreneur in the near future. The forum Camels4Life2 is organizing communities, scientists, activists, development workers and policy makers to use the camel in sustainable development agenda and advocate for its promotion and sustainable development in future.
- History Of Camels In Australia; http://camelfarm.com/camels/camels_australia.html
- Al Ain doctor sees potential in camels beyond their milk; http://www.thenational.ae/uae/health/al-ain-doctor-sees-potential-in-camels-beyond-their-milk