Biodiversity, Food Security, Pastoralism and Climate Change Adaptation
Author: Dr Raziq Kakar
I’m Ph.D. in Animal Agriculture, currently working as a Technical Manager at Al Ain Farms for Livestock Production, Camel dairying, Alain, UAE. I have performed as a Professor and Dean, at the Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences Pakistan (LUAWMS). I work on and write for the subjects of ‘turning camel from a beast of burden to a sustainable farm animal’, agricultural research policies, extensive livestock production systems, desert ecosystems, food security under climate change context, and sustainable use of traditional genetic resources for food and agriculture.
Iim advocating camel under the theme of CAMEL4LIFE and believe in camel potential. Camel4life is a camel think tank with a website and WhatsApp group, advocating camel at the policy level. I’m the founder and head of the Society of Animal, Veterinary, and Animal Scientists (SAVES), and the Founder of the Camel Association of Pakistan. I also work as a freelance scientist working on the above-mentioned thematic areas. I'm currently a member of the steering committee for Desert Net International (DNI). I'm also doing camel dairying consultancies.
I’m an ethnoecologist, ethnobotanist, Ethnovet and ethomedicie researcher and reviewer. I explore deserts and grazing lands for knowledge and understanding.
camel manure can bring revolution in soil fertility because of its uniqe biodiversity of microbiome.
Camel manure decomposes faster than many others because of the diverse and stronger microflora in camels’ rumen. Camel is, therefore, more efficient in nutrient recycling, making camels’ dung more useful for cropping and farming. For further details; https://arkbiodiv.com/2021/04/05/6223/
Pawanda are the custodian of the world’s very precious livestock breeds, mainly comprised of sheep, goat, camel, donkey and chickens. They travel along with their livestock back and forth the Suleiman Piedmont &Indus delta (Pakistan) in winter and central highlands of Afghanistan in summer.
Recently, came to know a post about the Dutch Committee for Afghanistan’s project on the skill development in animal health of the Kuchis in Afghanistan. Ellen Geerlings, a friend and known to me since last decade told me about the good work done with the Kuchis. I responded to the post with some insight I have about the issue. Here in the following lines, are the comments and replies of me and Ellen. I share for a positive debate and highlighting the issues and miseries of the Kochis both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
According to Ellen, the project covers the following objectives.
CLAP project started in 2014 in three provinces; Kabul, Logar and Parwan. The project will cover four new provinces including Balkh, Nangarhar, Baghlan and Herat. The project will also cover the main migration routes by training Kuchi veterinary para professionals, these will accompany the Kuchi and their herds on their migration route and provide animal health care services.
Dear Ellen Geerlings and Daud, I’m basically from Kuchi Afghan tribes. Kuchis are settled both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Our fore-forefather travel with their livestock into the central highlands of Afghanistan (Nawar) and back to the Suleiman Piedmont in winter. Some long traveling kuchis (in Pashtu we call PAWANDA) even travel to Sindh and Punjab provinces of Pakistan in winter. Kuchis or Pawanda are very excellent livestock keepers. They travel on their historical routes. They understand animal health, husbandry, value-added products, marketing, and the geographical and weathering understanding of the region. I have learned a lot from them in my lifetime. In my view, the Kuchis need little help in animal health (except vaccination), product development, and feeding of their livestock. The products made by the Kuchis are highly demanded by the consumers, ranging from Ghuarri (ghee) to Korath (curth/curd) and the sheep meat to the wool products. They still earn enough money from their livestock. Here I come to the main and important point. Their main problem is their zero presence at the policy making table. They are never heard when policies are made for them. They need policy-level support.
Dear Prof Kakar, Thank you for your valuable insights. I remember you are from the Kuchi community yourself. I do think the project is contributing to the well-being and resilience of the Kuchi as it is targeted to the most marginalised families within the Kuchi community. The paravets are placed in areas where animal healthcare services are lacking. These paravets receive a 6 month training and will return to their own communities where they are known and respected. They use high quality vaccins as opposed to the vaccines available in markets which are often overdate, diluted and/or of very low quality. You do have a very good point however; (more) policy level support is needed. This is not only the case in Afghanistan but in a wide range of other areas as well. I remember the Raika nomads in Rajasthan frequently being disadvantaged by agricultural policies resulting in their grazing areas being encroached upon, migration routes being blocked, increased tension between farmers and nomads and decreasing water availability due to indiscriminate drilling of water wells by farmers. The CLAP project has a policy support component and a Kuchi board that has advised the project. But policy development is a very slow process.
Ellen Geerlings Thanks for the detailed reply. I appreciate the great objectives and achievements of the project. My previous response was not completed because of the limited space in the LinkedIn comments tab. Policy level support is very important and their prospects at the policy level must be taken into account. Their main problem is now the restrictions in their movements both in Afghanistan and Pakistan and also on the Durand line which we Pashtun call it bad line (dividing us). They also need support in finding marketing opportunities at a global level to have enough money for sustaining this great and historic animal husbandry. I personally, introduced some products from our traditional livestock systems in the slow food event in Turin Italy. The people showed very great interest in the products. We have very special and tasty Curd/Korath, Rozgani and Kakari. Our sheep meat is special, unique taste and aroma. We dry it and the product name is PERSENDA/Landi. The ark of taste appreciated the texture, taste, and aroma. you can read about the dry meat and can use the link as a reference. Very best regards and thanks for your patience. https://camel4all.blog/persendadry-meat-cousine-of-pashtun-afghan-2/
YES, milk is not only food but culture and institute. There is a lot of knowledge revolving around the milk. Milk is a very integral entity of the livestock keepers’ communities. Milk is a source of cash income for the world’s poor and rural women. Milk provides strong bonding between humans and animals and the environment. Milk is the most nutritious and delicious food. I love camel milk.
Today, on the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I wanted to step back and reflect on the progress we have made collectively and through IFAD‘s work and also look at the challenges we are facing to further reduce poverty.
— Read on www.ifad.org/en/web/latest/blog/asset/41385382
The World Economic Forum’s Shaping the Future initiative published a white paper prepared by ILRI, which addresses opportunities for the livestock sector to sustainably meet the growing demand for animal source foods in developing and emerging economies to 2030 and beyond.
Originally posted on THE GFAR BLOG: According to The State of the Food Security and Nutrition in the World released last year (SOFI 2018), global hunger and malnutrition has increased considerably since 2016, reaching 821 million undernourished people – approximately one person out of every nine in the world. This means that the number of…
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