Keep camel milk natural

On 2 December 2016, the government made the long-awaited announcement of FSSAI standards for camel milk, an issue which has held back camel dairy development in India for years. But camel milk cannot meet the proposed standard. 

The FSSAI says camel milk must have a minimum fat content of 3%. Yet the fat content of milk from the same camel can vary between 1.9% and 4%, depending on season and diet. And consumers increasingly prefer lower-fat milk.

Camel breeders want to supply a natural product that consumers can trust. Feeding supplements or using additives in milk to meet arbitrary standards for fat content is not the best way forward. Please help us to raise awareness and change the FSSAI standard. 

 

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Camel milk available in India!

LPPS and Camel Charisma are trialling India's first camel milk microdairy project. The milk has proven therapeutic benefits for autism and diabetes. Read more about our latest venture here

 

Saving the camels of Rajasthan

Ushtra Vikas Yojana, the Camel Development Scheme, was announced by the state government on 2 October 2016. 31.5 crore rupees has been allocated for the scheme over four years.

The new plan outlined by Kunji Lal Meena, Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Government of Rajasthan will support camel breeders with a subsidy of INR 10,000 (payable over a period of eighteen months) for each camel calf born, along with other measures which include training centres,  improved access to veterinary treatment and research on camel products.

The camel pastoralists of Rajasthan believe that Shiva created them to be the guardians of the camel. They are the custodians of a long and proud heritage which goes back at least 600 years.

Ushtra Vikas Yogana signals a new approach. To save Rajasthan’s state animal, we need to involve and work with camel keeping communities to combine the best of tradition with technological and institutional innovations.

 

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Ranakpur Camel Lodge

LPPS and Camel Charisma are now welcoming guests at our new community eco-tourism venture, the Ranakpur Camel Lodge, offering homestay accommodation with a difference at the LPPS Camel Conservation Centre, near Rajasthan's famous Ranakpur Jain temples.

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India's camel crisis

Organisations including the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) agree that the camel is a key resource for future food security in arid zones. Camel numbers are increasing in other countries in response to climate change and increasing economic viability.

But Rajasthan’s heritage camel culture is disappearing fast. To maintain camel herds takes knowledge, expertise and a lot of hard work. The camels of Rajasthan cannot survive without their guardians.

80% of India’s camels are in Rajasthan. Unless camel breeders are able to survive, the decline in camel numbers can only continue.

 

There are three key areas which will need to be addressed in the next phase if we are to ensure the long-term survival of India’s camels. 

Investment for the future

Camel dairy, in combination with other camel products, offers great potential for long-term economic viability. Why should India import camel milk?


Grazing

Changes in land use are a global issue, with common themes. Traditional grazing areas are often lost for little benefit. Resources will need to be used wisely and sustainably in future.

Sustainable populations

We need think tanks and strategists to look at economic and other issues, particularly those associated with male camels and old and sick camels, as these are some of the most difficult problems to resolve.

In support of a new vision for the camels of Rajasthan

All desert regions will face climate and environmental issues in years to come. Losing an animal that experts see as one of the best options for food security in arid zones is not a good choice for rural India. 

Towards a new vision →

These are some of the camel experts, economists and community leaders who support the call for a new vision to save the camel in Rajasthan.

Bibek Debroy  Member, Niti Aayog (National Institute for Transforming India); economist and author; Professor, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

Sanjay Barnela  Eminent documentary filmmaker. Founder of Moving Images (www.movingimages.com); 2014 CMS Vatavaran Prithvi Ratna Award for work in enhancing knowledge on environment, conservation and livelihood issues.

Ashish Kothari  Co-Author, Churning the Earth: The Making of Global India (2012); Coordinator of India's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan process; Member of Kalpavriksh.

Vasant Saberwal  Author, Pastoral Politics: Shepherds, Bureaucrats and Conservation in the Western Himalaya (New Delhi, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999) ; Co-author, Democratizing Nature: Politics, Conservation and Development in India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Dr Chanda Nimbkar  Head of Animal Husbandry division, Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), Maharashtra. 

Bernard Faye  Founder of ISOCARD (International Society of Camelid Research and Development); FAO consultant as international camel expert. 

Kuldeep Kothari  Secretary, Rupayan Santhsthan. 

Paul Robbins  Director, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Shri Harjiram Raika, President, Godwar Unt Palak Samiti

Shri Babulal Raika, community leader and panch

Shri Bhom Singh Rathore, President, Jaisalmer Unt Vikas Samiti

Dr Ilse Köhler-Rollefson  Co-founder of the League for Pastoral Peoples (www.lpp.org); Rolex Awards Laureate; Author, Camel Karma (Tranquebar Press 2014).

Devinder Sharma  Food Policy Analyst and columnist.

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About LPPS

LPPS has been working since 1996 to save the camels of Rajasthan.

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