Jordan’s camel industry crippled by drought

Published August 7th, 2016 - 09:00 GMT
A man stands among camels during an auction at Birqash Camel Market just outside of Cairo. (AFP/File)
A man stands among camels during an auction at Birqash Camel Market just outside of Cairo. (AFP/File)

Breeders face several obstacles in growing the camel industry, including drought spells and a lack of promotion in local markets, the Agriculture Ministry said on Saturday.

Camels in Jordan feed on natural pastures, consuming barley, berseem clover and hay, but consecutive drought spells and a shortage in fodder supply coupled with its high costs present challenges to developing camel farming in the country, the ministry's spokesperson, Nimer Haddadin, explained.

Although there are 11,000 camels in Jordan, there are no special markets to sell camel products such as milk and meat, Haddadin said, noting that the lack of specialists in camel farming was also another factor leaving the sector untapped.

"Camels in Jordan are mostly found in the southern and eastern regions; there are 3,000 camels in Aqaba alone," he noted.

He told The Jordan Times that there is no substantial export of camels, but noted that a few camels are imported for racing purposes.

The official highlighted that camels in Jordan are mainly raised for milk production, noting that some farmers also breed camels for their high meat yields.

"The ministry seeks to encourage camel breeding in Jordan, and it supplies farmers with vaccines and medicines free of charge," Haddadin said.

In addition, the ministry carries out a regular census of the camel population to monitor the animals' health and for future investments in the sector, he added.

By Hana Namrouqa


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