Food Security and Socio-Economic Uplift of Camel Herders in Southern Punjab, Pakistan
This study belongs to project “Rural development by livestock extension education in Southern Punjab”. A survey was conducted in Multan and Muzaffargarh districts of Southern Punjab by using a pretested questionnaire to collect the information regarding food security and socio-economic status of cameleers in study area. It has been shown from the results that the socio-economic status of camel herders has improved a lot in last decade mainly due to the knowledge about camel and its products. Definitely camel plays an indispensable role in the food security of people of arid zone. Now the people are getting conscious about consuming the camel milk and products as in earlier time there was a taboo to use the camel products and the people did not get their taste developed. Due to increasing health reasons and by the initiatives taken by government departments the people are getting familiar with the camel products. Now the camel has shifted its place from “ship of the desert” and “beast of the burden” to a “food security animal” with great potential to produce a valuable product even in those areas of harsh climatic conditions where there seems difficult for the other domestic animals to produce. The camel herders value the ethno-veterinary practices and still use these for the treatment in camels. Mainly the camel browse on the roadsides but also stallfed with fodder by cut and carry system. The camel plays a pivotal role in the life sustainability of cameleers where they mainly depend on this specie for their livelihood. Hence; this is an integral part of pastoral ecosystem in arid, semi-arid and deserted lands.
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