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The Next Thing: Camel Milk

October 12, 2006

In Tunisia, people will travel hundreds of kilometres to get hold of some. Herdswomen from Ethiopia and Somalia think nothing of riding a train for 12 hours to sell it in Djibouti, where prices are high. In N’Djamena, Chad, milk bars are mushrooming all over town.

Half way round the globe people consider it a powerful tonic against many diseases. The Gulf Arabs believe it is an aphrodisiac.

From the Western Sahara to Mongolia demand is booming for camel milk. But there just isn’t enough to go round. State-of-the art camel rearing is rudimentary, and much of the 5.4 million tonnes of milk produced every year by the world population of some 20 million camels is guzzled by young camels themselves.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) thus sees bright prospects for camel dairy products, which could not only provide more food to people in arid and semi-arid areas, but also give nomadic herders a rich source of income.

FAO is hoping financing will come forward from donors and investors to develop the sector not only at local level but help camel milk move into lucrative markets in the Middle East and the West.

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Read More: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Food, Africa

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