Speakers at a seminar in connection with the World Camel Day on Friday said some government support for camel farmers could help the country boost its export earnings.
They said camel meat and milk were in high demand, particularly in the Middle Eastern countries and added that farmers could export camel milk for up to $2 per litre.
They urged the government to help farmers link up with exporters.
They said livestock departments could identify suitable sites for markets in regions like Cholistan where camel farming was a popular occupation.
UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Iqrar Ahmad Khan said there was a shortage of markets where camel farmers could get in touch with buyers. He suggested that there should be at least one camel market in every city. He referred to the time he had spent in the Middle East and said that camel meat and milk was very popular items among the Arabs. Former Livestock Minister Mumtaz Manhais said meat and milk of white camel in particular was highly valued in the Middle Eastern countries. He said livestock export in general needed more government attention.
He added that the country had yet to take advantage of mutton and beef export opportunities in neighbouring Iran and India.
He said the first-ever International Camel Conference would soon be held at Islamia University of Bahawalpur.
Faculty of Animal Husbandry Dean Prof Muhammad Sarwar highlighted the medicinal significance of camel meat and milk.
Livestock Department chairman Dr Muhammad Younas said about 41 per cent of the country’s camel population was in Balochistan. Punjab followed with 21 per cent camel population, he added.
He said most of the camels in the world were found in Africa. Dr Muhammad Afzal Hussain said the annual camel meat trade in the world was worth around $10 billion and camel milk trade worth $7 billion.
Dr Muhammad Ashraf Mughal of the Livestock and Dairy Development Department and Dr Muhammad Abdullah of University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences and Dr Tanvir Hussain of the IUB also spoke on the occasion.
The seminar was followed by a camel ride by the speakers to raise awareness about camel farmers.
The day-long event was arranged jointly by the UAF’s Department of Livestock Management and Camel Association of Pakistan
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2012.
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