Bahrain launches camel mapping drive
Manama, December 13, 2012
A new initiative to map camel herds across the Arab world and bring the industry into the 21st century got underway in Bahrain yesterday, a report said.
Talks are focusing on drawing up the region's first comprehensive strategy to revive one of its most iconic symbols, according to the report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News (GDN).
Experts from across the Middle East are gathering at the Mercure Grand Hotel, in Seef, for the first time to discuss ways to develop the potentially lucrative camel market.
Issues on the agenda include pooling resources, sharing new techniques and technologies in camel farming, as well as documenting camel population and routes and locations of herds across the Arab world.
"The meeting in Bahrain is the first of its kind in the Arab world and will discuss scientifically camel resources, population, routes and locations of herds," Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry livestock director Abdulrahman Shawqi Al Mannai told the GDN.
"They will discuss how to integrate camel resources and share new techniques and technologies in camel farming. They will also be compiling data of herds in all the countries."
The two-day meeting will continue today and is being organised by the Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development (AOAD), which comes under the umbrella of the Arab League, in co-operation with Bahrain's Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry. It is described as the first gathering of its kind in the Arab world.
Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi was guest of honour at the event, which brings together more than 50 delegates from Arab League countries.
They are discussing the changing role of camels in Arab society, which has seen the famous animal go from being a primary mode of transport to a sideshow attraction in many countries.
Issues such as the need to rejuvenate the camel industry are being discussed, along with nutrition, disease prevention and improving co-ordination between research facilities.
Al Mannai said with some camels being sold for upwards of BD500,000 ($1.3 million), the industry has the potential to be highly lucrative for the region.
"Camels are very healthy for you in terms of meat, not to mention they are used for racing and are imperative for tourism," said Al Mannai.
"The value of the camel is very high and quite unique to our region, which is why the resources need to be tracked, improved and maintained to nurture this industry." – TradeArabia News Service