Camels’ Manure~From Waste to a Worthwhile Farming Agent


Camel dung is beautiful in its architecture, dry and odorless. Camels’ manure/dung is use as a fueling agent in many developing countries, especially among the pastoralists’ communities. It is ready to burn after very few minutes and does not need to dry in sunshine for many days like cows’ dung. In small scaled farming system it is used both for fuel and organic fertilizer. In northeastern Balochistan and Southern Afghanistan, it is used as a fertilizer for Pomegranate and wine trees(personal communication).

camel dung

In Americas, the dung of new world’s camelid (Llama) is used to neutralize the acidic, metal-laden water through a highly unusual filter: llama droppings in Bolivia 1. It is a very good agent for filtration because of its higher fiber contents.

On the other hand, camels’ manure is going waste in countries (its original habitat) with highest camel population per unit land mass area (Gulf countries) in the world. UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar have the highest camel population on per unit land mass at the global level, producing millions of tons of manure annually; all going waste. I only found one reference that BP use camels’ manure in Sharjah (UAE) for the decomposition of hydrocarbon leaked in the soil/water 2. Camels’ dung is use for Bio-Paper production in India but at a minor level.

P1020863

Based in UAE, here a common misperception is prevailing regarding camels’ manure as; it has no value as fertilizer. This perception had made camels’ dung a valueless atom and it is a burden on camel breeders to properly dump. On contrary (research findings) camel dung has almost the same value as that of cow dung 3.

 

compost of camel manure.jpg
Photo credit by Tabitha Bilaniwskyj-Zarins from Australia

Camel dung 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. Hoffmann and Muhammad revealed that camel dung does not differ from cow and other ruminants’ dung 4.

 

In conclusion, camels’ dung is an untapped precious resource which is not properly utilized so far. The visionary and innovative opinion in Gulf countries, especially the UAE can bring silver sliding in the clouds and may find ways to use this precious resource for the agricultural development of the region. Also, the research institutes of the region should come forward to chalk out projects on the exploring true worth of camel dung.

compost of camel manure 1.jpg

Photo provided by Tabitha Bilaniwskyj-Zarins, Australia

This piece of the manuscript is the tip of the ice burg and brainstorming to launch a discussion regarding this precious organic material. I hope to hear from different quarters and to find ways for its judicious use. The GAA of the FAO can be a great forum to address this issue.

 

“A dairy camel weighing 600 kg produces 15-17 kg dry manure daily. The racing and other camels produce half of that quantity. In a 1000 camels’ dairy, the daily manure production is about 16,000 kg. All this asset is going waste. On the other hand, the date palm waste is also going waste. There is no use at all. The camel dung (with a high and diversified level of microflora) can be a potential decomposing agent for the date palm waste. Both wastes in combination can be a potential asset for organic farming in the region.”

I hereby suggest some of few ways can be the best use for camels’ dung.

  1. Farm Yard Manure/fertilizer
  2. Material to combat desertification and dune fixing
  3. Bio-paper
  4. Bio-gas
  5. Power generationCamel-Dung-as-Fuel-Source.jpg

References

  1. Bijal P. Trivedi. 2002. Llama Dung May Be Used to Clean Bolivia Water Supply. National Geographic Published online (ttp://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/02/0205_0205TVllamadung.html)
  2. Godfrey Uzodinma Iregbu, Ibrahim Hayatu Kubkomawa, Chidiogo Grace Okoli, Emanuel Chinedum Ogundu, Martin Chukwudi Uchegbu, Ifeanyi Charles Okoli. 2014. Environmental concerns of pig waste production and its potentials as biofuel source Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences 2014; 1(3): 17-24. Published online November 10, 2014 (http://www.openscienceonline.com/journal/javs)
  3. M. Irshad, A. E. Eneji, Z. Hussain and M. Ashraf. 2013. Chemical characterization of fresh and composted livestock manures. Journal of soil science and plant nutrition. Published online (http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0718-95162013005000011)
  4. Hoffmann, I. & Mohammed, I. 2004. The role of nomadic camels for manuring farmer’s fields in the Sokoto close-settled zone, Northwest Nigeria. Nomadic Peoples 8(1): 1-14.
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22 comments on “Camels’ Manure~From Waste to a Worthwhile Farming Agent

    • Dear Sir,
      depending on the chemical parameters (N,P,K, ODM, DM) of Camel dung it might be possible to make a good compost of it. And even better if you can make a mixure with organic matter from Municipal Solid Waste. Than you would also need a MSW processing / separation facility. If there is a need for renewable energy you can produce this from biogas (electrical, heat or else) then the organic matter from camel dung + organic part of MSW can be processed in a biogas plant producing biogas and fertiliser. http://www.adverio.eu
      We can make a feasibility study and concept engineering for such a plant for the client. Provide us with basic information and we make you an offer.

    • Thank you for the information!
      I wonder something as well, it has very limited weeds’ seeds as camels merely depend on browsing of larger trees in which rate of seed browsing is minimal. However, small ruminants and cattle have higher access to ingest weeds’ seeds hence, their unprocessed/ not decomposed manure will be resulted in growing of weeds whenever used in farms.

  1. I found some more references as; the camel dung is not different in quality from cow and other ruminants’ dung. Also that camel rumen is more efficient to recycle nutrients. This phenomenon makes the camel dung more soft and increase its solubility in the soil. A friend from Australia commented in facebook page on the link as stated; she used camel dung which is far better in results than others but need proper process and treatment to make a proper compost.

  2. Here are some comments pasted on my facebook page regarding the usefulness of camel manure in Australia.
    Tabitha Bilaniwskyj-Zarins
    Here are some herbs and vegetable seedlings grown in composted camel manure, euc/pine mulch and coarse sand. Full of worms. The picture is given inside the text.
    Raziq Ark Biodiversity
    The idea is really great . We have manure in bulk quantity . I have point of view to use dates palm waste with camels manure to make a compst with high level of moisture keeping quality
    Tabitha Bilaniwskyj-Zarins
    Yes that will work well. If you are sowing seed direct into the ground this will be a great way to add moisture. Perhaps place some thick see through plastic over in a tunnel like structure to generate moisture to aid in the breakdown of materials. But make sure there is enough oxygen getting to it also. You will know the quality by the look, feel and smell of the compost. Camel dung has amazing microbes that break down other materials very very quickly, as i have said.

  3. […] One can imagine, how distinctive and special can be the gift of God. The Bedouin gives name Ata ullah (gift of God), hence considered as precious and matchless. Neverthless of its products, camels’ physiology and behavior are especially designed to survive in harsh conditions of its habitat and sustain livelihood of its keepers in climate change scenario. Camel has all the characteristics which are otherwise scattered in all the other known and useful animals. The following table shows the importance of camel if compare to other livestock species. Livestock vs camel. Every product of camel is useful, even urine (traditionally use for medicinal conditions like ear infection, water belly and some kinds of dermatitis) and dung are valuable.Camels’ Manure~From Waste to a Worthwhile Farming Agent […]

  4. Great work sir..Further research on this can minimize the use of inorganic fertilizers which are very hazardous to the ecosystem.

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