SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF CAMEL FARMERS IN DIFFERENT ZONES OF SINDH, PAKISTAN
Department of Livestock Management, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Pakistan
Present study was aimed at studying the socio-economic characteristics of camel farmers including age, family size, education, herd size, composition of camel herd, milk production and camel milk marketing patterns at various zones of Sindh province. For this purpose, 270 camel farmers were randomly selected from three zones of Sindh including sandy desert, coastal mangroves and irrigated plains. It was observed that majority of camel farmers (~51 to 60%) belonged to middle age groups (31 to 40 and 41 to 50 years) at three zones. The average family size of farmers (persons per household) engaged in camel farming was high in the desert (9.18) followed by irrigated (8.70) and coastal (8.43) zone. The rate of illiterate farmers (66%) observed high than the literate farmers (34%) in three zones of Sindh province. The camel herd size was recorded high in areas of sandy desert followed by coastal mangroves and irrigated zone. The camel milk production recorded to be at the top in the sandy desert (11.00 liters/day), moderate at irrigated plains (7.00 liters/day) and at bottom coastal mangroves zone (6.00 liters/day). The market price per camel recorded lowest at sandy desert (Rs.76, 504.43), the highest at coastal mangroves (Rs.87, 355.55) and medium at irrigated plains (Rs.86, 000.00). There was no definite pattern of marketing of camel milk reported in the study area. Therefore, making innovative marketing strategies for camel milk can support camel farmers in improving their socio-economic conditions.