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Dromedary camel nutrition for sustainable meat production in dry areas

Collaborators: Dept of Animal Science. Jimma University and The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)


Camels have an increasingly important role in the livelihood of humans in some geographical regions. The overall population of camels around the world is recently reported as 37,509,000 with the majority of them kept by the farmers in the arid and semi-arid areas of the developing countries.

The dromedary camel is an excellent source of meat particularly in dry areas where climate negatively impacts the performance of other livestock. This is due to physiological features which enable the dromedary camel to tolerate high temperature, solar radiation, water scarcity and poor nutrition.

The decrease in cereal yields as a result of severe drought and global climate change resulted in an increase in the price of cereal grains and their by-products. Therefore, integrating food-feed crops into camel production systems (like spineless cactus) is now on the top of priorities of agricultural sectors in developing countries.

Spineless cactus cladode is a viable replacement to barley and maize grains in the feed rations of dromedary camel calves.


To determine the reliability of spineless cactus cladode as a viable replacement to cereal grains in dromedary camel calves diets. In addition to that, the project aims at summarising and appraising the current knowledge regarding dromedary camel nutrition through conducting a comprehensive and deep systematic review.

Potential Impact

Integrating spineless cactus cladodes in came nutrition in replacement of primary cereal grains would would help decreasing the cost of meat production. It would enable allocating more cereal grains to poultry and human consumption in arid and semiarid areas of the world. The project would help researchers to steer research projects regarding dromedary camel nutrition for meat and milk production.

Team members

  • Dr Ashraf Alkthib, Investigator. ARES, NTU.
  • Dr Mohannad Mona. GCSAR/Syria Investigator, Livestock production.
  • Dr Metekia Tamiru. Investigator. Dept of Animal Science. Jimma University.
  • Dr Jane Wamatu. Investigator (Scientist-Small Ruminant Nutritionist). ICARDA.