The Camel and the Longs Shadows of Climate Change
The calamities of climate change are so devastating for the farming sector, especially animal agriculture. Not only the feed & water is the main challenge but the rise in temperatures, aridity, and diseases are also adversely affecting the production and the quality of the products. In such a mystifying scenario some species of animals are preferred over others because of their adaptation to the emerging challenges and producing quality products, the camel is one of the examples of such genetic resources.
Towering Demand for Camel Milk
The demand for camel milk is increasing because of some very basic facts as;
- The camel can produce milk in the challenging environmets and needs very little inputs, so its products are attractive for those who think about the environment. Camel Dairying is sustainable in true sense.
- The camel milk is very healthy, immune booster, and safe for all ages and conditions.
- The camel milk has longer shelf life and needs very little efforts to be preserved and stored.
Seeing such a demanding market for camel milk, many players are coming into the ring to produce camel milk and deliver it in the market. In the last 2 years, many new camel dairying plans are chalked out in different regions but the main boost was seen in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa (mainly Kenya). Also, new camel milk products are introduced in the market in Mongolia, China Kazakhstan, Iran, India, and some Western countries like Australia.
We can say that especially under the COVID-19: demand for camel milk grows from Kazakhstan to Kenya and from Australia to Europe and North America.
A camel milk entrepreneur from Kenya reported that up to 20% rise in demand for camel milk during COVID-19 and lockdown – especially home deliveries – as more consumers shift from cow to camel milk, to help boost immunity. Known for its anti-inflammatory, strong protective proteins, anti-microbial and nutritious value; parents seek camel milk for children.
But the camel milk really needs to be further investigated for its immunity-boosting role as there are many reports and some scientific studies suggesting that the camel milk can be a good and useful immunity booster.https://camel4all.info/index.php/2020/02/19/researching-camel-milk-as-an-antiviral-agent-in-the-context-of-covid-19/
Camel milk is no doubt free of allergic proteins and intolerant lactose. It is safe to be feed to people with cow milk protein allergy and lactose intolerance. Dr. Tahereh Muhammadabadi is working on the role of camel milk as a functional food and researching the thrilling of camel milk. She claims that the noble molecules present in camel milk perform as natural pharmacies for human beings. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/349695089_Camel_Milk_lactoferrin_Special_agent_against_bacterial_infections
The Production of Camel Milk is Also Increasing
Pre-COVID, the global camel milk products market was valued at USD 10.2 billion in 2019, with an estimated 3 million tons of camel milk officially sold and consumed around the world. But true production levels could be double that, at 5-6 million tons per year; as around 70% of camel milk is consumed by camel owners and never reaches the market.
I’m working with camels for the last 15 years and very much convinced that the camel is a true and sustainable dairy animal. The most important message over here is that the camel dairy must be promoted and developed as the camel dairy, not an HS model. The wellbeing and welfare of the camel must be kept in notice while establishing a camel dairy unit. Some camels are producing a very high volume of milk and the others are comparatively very low but we can manage a thick average from both extremes.