AUSTRALIAN CAMEL EXPERT LAUNCHES CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR INDIA'S FIRST CAMEL MICRODAIRY
On a recent visit to Rajasthan, renowned Australian camel whisperer, camel expert and TV personality Paddy McHugh was so impressed by the efforts of Raika camel breeders to set up India’s first camel milk microdairy at the LPPS Camel Conservation Centre in Sadri, Rajasthan, that on his return home he immediately launched a campaign to raise $50,000 to fund modern equipment for the dairy.
The long-awaited announcement that the FSSAI has approved standards for legal sale of camel milk, made by Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Minister, Honorable Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare on 2 December in Delhi, coincides with the launch of the crowdfunding campaign, which aims to fund a state-of-the-art inline bottling and processing line for the Kumbhalgarh Camel Dairy.
Paddy McHugh visited the Kumbhalgarh microdairy during a recent visit to Rajasthan and met with participating herders. The new enterprise could transform their livelihoods.
Paddy was struck by the sincerity and efforts of local staff and Raika herders, who have worked hard to get the tiny business going.
The Kumbhalgarh Camel Dairy has been operating since the beginning of 2016 and could pave the way for similar camel microdairy businesses throughout Rajasthan.
'We want to set up the Kumbhalgarh Camel Dairy as a model microdairy facility which can be a pilot project for others throughout the state' says Hanwant Singh Rathore, of the NGO LPPS, which has started the dairy with local camel owners.
'Gujarat has been supporting development of camel dairy since 2011. As Rajasthan has not made any investment in camel dairy facilities the state is lagging behind as regards any volume production. But there is also strong demand for ethically-produced, regional camel dairy products of high quality, so the concept we are trialling is geared towards this small-scale and more specialist production.’
The Kumbhalgarh microdairy facility aims to keep standards high. Herd registration, camel health checks and testing are being implemented for quality assurance. Participating camel owners are trained in hygienic milking practices and are committed to producing a quality product.
There is a web page about the project at at http://www.camelsofrajasthan.com/camel-milk-india/.
'Our camels are eating a entirely natural and organic diet including around three dozen native plants known for their uses in traditional medicine.‘ says Bhanwarlal Raika, one of the camel owners supplying milk to the dairy. ‘Our aim is to produce the best camel milk in India’.
Paddy McHugh, http://www.paddymchugh.com, is well known for his camel treks, outback expeditions and adventures with Australian feral camels, and as a 'camel whisperer'. He visited Rajasthan in November to run workshops in training camels and to attend the Pushkar camel fair, where his skills earned the respect of Raika camel herders.
'Without any funding, LPPS and local Raika have proved they can develop and produce fantastic, high-quality, dairy products to commercial standards', says Paddy. 'The market is there, but funds are lacking. I was amazed by what they have achieved. All they need is a helping hand to buy the equipment to make it happen’.
On his return to Australia, Paddy immediately launched an international crowdfunding campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/CamelDairiesRajasthan. The campaign will accept all donations, however small. Paddy now plans to spread the word far and wide in a bid to raise $50,000 to fund equipment and help set the Kumbhalgarh Camel Dairy on the path to success.
Kumbhalgarh Camel Dairy
Hanwant Singh Rathore – LPPS
Tel. 09414818564; 09660083437
PO Box 1, Sadri 306702, District Pali, Rajasthan, India
Tel: +61 427216720
Hanwant Singh Rathore of LPPS and Australian camel expert Paddy McHugh discussing camel milk dairy production with Raika camel breeders during Pushkar Fair.
Australian camel expert Paddy McHugh, who has launched an international fundraising campaign to help buy equipment for India's first camel microdairy, enjoying local colour at the recent Pushkar Fair.