Camel4Life, is an initiative started by the technical manager for Al Ain Dairy’s camel farm. The group has been created to promote the use of camels by the world’s poorer communities, and to give traditional producers an international voice.
According to Dr Abdul Raziq Kakar the camel has been an integral part of life in the Arabian peninsula, and elsewhere, for thousands of years, but their potential is yet to be fully realised.
Camels ensure life and livelihood in far and wide regions of the world. In fact they guarantee entry and transportation in harsh environmental conditions and move for almost 40 kilometres [a day].
Camels graze on scarce and scattered bush vegetation, which is otherwise wasted, and convert it to precious food items like milk and meat.
Dr Kakar, accredited camel milk with relieving his arthritis more than a decade ago, when he was advised to drink it by a tribal elder. He lived for a period in a mountainous region of Pakistan together with the camel herders, walking and moving as they, camel pastoralists, changed settlement so often.
“Taking camel milk and eating simple food made me healthy and strong,” he said. The group’s slogan is: “Promoting the use of the camel as a worldwide livelihood for millions of people, and a livestock species resilient to climate change”.
The camel’s abilities could make it vital in areas that suffer climatic disruption due to global warming.
The primary goal of Camel4Life is to support the use of camelids as productive livestock that are used extensively in countries with harsh environments.
One of Camel4Life’s first projects the organisation intends to implement is the introduction of camels to a village in Assam, north-east India.
The organisation also wants to promote the voices of camel herders in international forums in fact their opinion has never been listened to because focus is always put on modern husbandry.
Millions of pastoralists and nomads depend on camels, and their herds are vital resources of genetic variation.
“I shall use all my worth and potential to promote and use [the organisation] for the betterment of camel herders and the camel itself,” Dr Kakar said.