Homepage  Homepage     Search on site  Search on site     To write the letter  To write the letter     Site map  Site map
Agro Perspectiva
We are on: 

Home > News

Heroes of deserts and highlands: Nourishing people and culture

02.03.2024 07:31 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) The United Nations declared 2024 the International Year of Camelids (IYC 2024). The Year will highlight how camelids are key to the livelihoods of millions of households in hostile environments across over 90 countries, particularly Indigenous Peoples and local communities. From alpacas to Bactrian camels, dromedaries, guanacos, llamas, and vicuñas, camelids contribute to food security, nutrition and economic growth as well as holding a strong cultural and social significance for communities across the world.

Camelids play an important role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to the fight against hunger, the eradication of extreme poverty, the empowerment of women and the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. From providing milk, meat and fibre for communities to transport for products and people, and organic fertilizer, camelids thrive where other livestock species cannot survive.

Camelids play a key role in the culture, economy, food security and livelihoods of communities in Andean highlands and in the arid and semi-arid lands in Africa and Asia, including Indigenous Peoples. Even in extreme climatic conditions they continue to produce fibre and nutritious food. Indeed, the International Year of Camelids presents a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the role of camelids in building resilience to climate change — particularly in mountains and arid and semi-arid lands.

The International Year of Camelids 2024 aims to build awareness of the untapped potential of camelids and to call for increased investment in the camelid sector, advocating for greater research, capacity development and the use of innovative practices and technologies.

We are camelids! Have we met?

We have been roaming the Earth since long before you arrived, but maybe you havent noticed.

We are referred to as the heroes of deserts and highlands for we can survive the toughest of climates.

We live in over 90 countries and are crucial to the livelihoods of millions. We are a part of peoples cultures, livelihoods and identities. We are also working animals, supporting Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Our products contribute to nutrition, food security and economic growth all over the world.

There are several different types of us and more of us in the world than you can count!

Camelids, they call us. Let us introduce ourselves to you!

1. The Bactrian camel

I am a Bactrian camel, and I have two humps on my back.

I am the largest living camelid, able to adapt to both climates of the desert and semi-desert regions.

Much like the dromedary camels, I can travel for long periods of time without food or water by using the fat stored in my humps and turning it into energy.

Do not confuse us with wild camels, however. They are a separate species only found in the remote desert areas between China and Mongolia.

Like all other camelids, I am a sturdy and resilient creature, constantly serving people in times of need.

Even in extreme climatic conditions, I continue to provide nutritious food and fibre. Like dromedaries, I am called a «ship of the desert» thanks to my ability to survive in challenging circumstances, which is why both we and dromedaries are crucial to nomadic and dryland communities.

2. The dromedary camel

I am the one humped camel, and you can distinguish me by my long-curved neck and narrow chest.

I have difficulty travelling through mountainous regions, which is why I am referred to as a camel of the plains.

I exist in Africa and Asia.

I travel vast distances like the Bactrian camels, surviving long periods without water. This may be why I make the ideal companion through the vastness of deserts.

Camelid products and services are crucial to the livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples and local communities throughout South Americas Andean highlands and deserts of Africa and Asia. Left/Top: FAO. Right/Bottom: FAO.

3. The llama

A tall, horse-shaped animal with a short tail is what I am. My ears are rather long and slightly curved inward like bananas.

There are four million of us today with half of us residing in Bolivia. Yarn made from our fibres is light but will keep you exceptionally warm.

Like our other camelid friends, I appeared in South America about 45 million years ago, and I am an integral part of the identity of many cultures and societies.

4. The alpaca

An alpaca is what they call me, and you can spot me for I have a long neck and legs and no top front teeth. Like other South American camelids, I have soft and padded feet, so I dont damage the grasses that feed me.

I am a social creature and love to be around other alpacas and other animals. I communicate with my body language so you can read my mood by just watching my movements and behaviour.

Spanning back to pre-Hispanic times, we alpacas and our llama brethren, were the main working animals. We also provided fibre and meat to the communities.

We alpacas and llamas are the only South American camelids to have been domesticated.

5. The guanaco

I am one of the largest terrestrial wild mammals in South America. You can identify me by my slender body and large pointed ears. Unlike my llama relatives, my coat colour varies very little, from only a light to a dark shade of brown, with some white underneath.

We are speedy creatures, able to run from our predators. Did you know we can run about 35 miles an hour? Thats almost as fast as a tiger! Like my other camelid counterparts, I am important to local communities for my fibre.

6. The vicuña

I am a vicuña, the national animal of Peru. I have woolly brown coat on my back, while my chest hair is white. Many say that I provide some of the finest fibre in the world.

I can live in cold temperatures regardless of my thin wool because my body traps the suns heat during the daytime keeping me warm throughout the night.

We vicuñas, like the other South American camelids — llamas, alpacas and guanacos- are also called New World camelids, and we are considered unique indigenous mammals from the continent. We are a spiritual and cultural part of Indigenous Peoples and local communities identities in the Andean highlands, much like how the Bactrian and dromedary camels are culturally and socially significant in the arid and semi-arid lands of Africa and Asia.

Agro Perspectiva

< BASFs financial strength supports proposed stable dividend of 3.40 per share for the 2023 business year All news for
Commission proposes to prolong road transport agreements with Ukraine and Moldova and introduces updates to the agreement with Ukraine >

08:10 Seven additional private sector leaders announce support for Antimicrobial Use Stewardship Principles in poultry, now includes over 40% of global poultry meat production
23:32 EU extends trade support to Ukraine for one more year
04:36 European Union corn is forecast at 18.0 million tons
18:55 2024/25 Grain Consumption Expands while Trade Moderates
18:47 Oilseeds Stocks Forecast to Reach Record Highs in 2024/25
09:17 The International Year of the Woman Farmer in 2026 Approved by the UN General Assembly, it will increase awareness of the crucial role women farmers play in agrifood systems
08:10 2024 wheat forecast trimmed
21:25 Rising international quotations for meat, cereals and vegetable oils offset drops for dairy and sugar
07:10 El Niño and La Niña: four crucial steps to build climate resilience
08:25 Acute hunger remains persistently high in 59 countries with 1 in 5 people assessed in need of critical urgent action
10:43 New CEO at BASF: Martin Brudermüller hands over to Markus Kamieth
09:45 Parliament approves a revision of the EUs common agricultural policy
16:23 MEPs approve trade support measures for Ukraine with protection for EU farmers
18:08 Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food predicts this years harvest of grains and oilseeds at about 74 million tonnes
12:12 West Africa Cocoa Shortage Pushes Up Prices
23:48 U.S. Soybean Meal Exports Forecast at Consecutive Records in 2022/23 and 2023/24
23:10 EU Wheat Exports Challenged by Russias Growing Dominance
11:30 Country of origin of honey must be clearly visible on the label. EU honey traceability system to be developed
15:59 Commission starts setting up the Agriculture and Food Chain Observatory
15:33 Commission approves 2.2 billion German State aid scheme to support the decarbonisation of industrial processes to foster the transition to a net-zero economy
13:17 Donau Soja urges EU for clarity on EUDR implementation
10:44 Ukraine remained the third source of EU imports in 2023, with a value of EUR 11.8 billion
10:04 World cereal output seen up in 2023/24
09:55 FAO Food Price Index rises in March
10:04 Shellfish Crop Insurance Program Offers Oyster Producers Needed Protection from Environmental Challenges and More
23:01 Croatian horseradish root Ludbreški hren' added to register of Protected Designations of Origin
10:15 FAO and chef Fatmata Binta announce new project to empower women fonio producers in Ghana
12:55 Council compromise on Ukraine ATMs Only a half step forward in the right direction
09:18 Commission approves amendment to Italian State aid scheme to support companies in Friuli Venezia Giulia in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine
10:55 Projected famine in Gaza: FAO urges immediate access to deliver urgent and critical assistance at scale. About 1.1 million people are experiencing catastrophic food insecurity
08:44 EU makes major step forward in the delivery of 2024 humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza*
16:17 Commission approves 86.9 million Bulgarian State aid scheme to support farmers in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine
11:15 Commission takes action to boost biotechnology and biomanufacturing in the EU
11:13 Deal to extend trade support for Ukraine with safeguards for EU farmers
09:43 CAP - The Commission proposes simplifications that safeguard agricultural transitions!
23:10 The European Union and Switzerland launch negotiations to deepen bilateral relations
10:05 Commission proposes targeted review of Common Agricultural Policy to support EU farmers
23:36 Cargill Power CanolaTM Program Helps Farmers Take Advantage of Growing Bioenergy Market Opportunities for Canadian Canola
23:19 FAO will provide Ukrainian farmers with soybean and sunflower seeds for spring sowing campaign
23:27 FAO urges more cooperation in banana sector, significant for some least developed and low-income food-deficit countries and smallholder farmers
16:51 The European Commission sets out key steps for managing climate risks to protect people and prosperity
20:25 Coreper and COMENVI approve the provisional agreement on EU Carbon Removal Certification Framework
20:24 INTA MEPs fail EU producers by dismissing potential improvements to Ukraine ATMs
08:10 Soybean meal is expected to be a more competitive feed ingredient on higher global supplies.
09:11 U.S. Corn Exports Shift Destinations as Brazil Captures China Market
15:20 Conflicts push acute food insecurity higher
13:21 FAO Food Price Index declines further in February
13:14 Packaging: Council and Parliament strike a deal to make packaging more sustainable and reduce packaging waste in the EU
11:45 Commission approves 61.3 million Bulgarian State aid scheme to support farmers, producers of grain and oil crops, in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine
20:41 First go-ahead to renewing trade support for Ukraine and Moldova

Also available: 

NewsNews - News - News - News - News - News
BriefWeekly Reports - Free article
SubscriptionTariff - News&Reports
AdvertisingMagazine - Site
ConferencesForum AGRO-2013 - DAIRY WORLD-2008 - FERTILIZERS-2010
For our clientsAgroNewsDaily - Ukrainian Grain&Oilseed Market - Fertilizers - Milk Monthly - Milk Weekly
About usAbout project - Contact
2002 -2024 © Agrarika, ltd.
tel.: +380 67 4473802; +380 67 5964652
e-mail: client@agroperspectiva.com