Camel milk in Uzbekistan
“I fell in love with camels because my father recovered from their milk” – a trip to a camel farm in the steppes of central Fergana
The custom of raising animals has been formed in our people since ancient times, and it is done with love and care. There is not a single house in the villages where there are no cattle. At least they’re raising chickens. Caring for animals is an additional source of income for the family.
This time our story will be about the agricultural activities of Asrorzhon Khikmatov, who has been engaged in herding camels for several years in the steppes of central Fergana in the Rishtan district of the Fergana region.
We visited the farm to get acquainted with the peculiarities of breeding camels, with the daily work of agricultural workers.
We have learned that camels are milked 3 times a day: at sunrise, at noon and in the evening. We really wanted to watch the morning milking process, so we left for Rishtan, as soon as dawn broke.
The farm workers warmly greeted us and took us to the camels. We had to travel a considerable distance from the workers’ habitation to the camel stable.
The farm workers carefully washed the camel’s udder and began to milk from both sides. At that time, camels also ate milk.
“Several years ago my father got sick, he was bedridden for a long time. On the advice of people, I started giving him camel milk and he recovered. Then I fell in love with camels. The father still drinks this milk. Abu Ali ibn Sina in his book “The Canons of Medicine” dwelled on the healing properties of camel milk, which contains three times more vitamins than cow’s milk. Avicenna’s words turned out to be true. I was convinced that camel’s milk cured many diseases by the example of my father, ”explains Asrorjon Hikmatov, president of the Roshidon nasldor tuyalari farm.
We didn’t have time to look back when the workers milked 4 camels and took them to endless pastures. The camels were given hay. We followed the camels slowly walking towards the thickets of camel thorns …
“In 2013, I brought the first camel from the Kungrad region to Karakalpakstan. I like camels more than other animals. I can’t imagine my life without them. Since 2013, I have been with them, day and night. In total, I have 31 heads, including 27 women and 4 men, ”said Asrorzhon Hikmatov.
According to the workers, the day before we arrived, a camel named Komila had a baby camel. Interestingly, each camel has its own name and they respond to it.
“People come to us for healing milk from the regions, from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, sometimes from Russia. They bring in patients with diabetes mellitus and liver disease. Basically, camel milk cleanses the blood. We plan to conclude an agreement with Turkmenistan and increase the number of camels to 100 in the future. A liter of camel milk now costs 35,000 soums. Basically, it is bought for medicinal purposes. We give free milk to critically ill patients in need, ”explains the president of the farm.
As in every field, it also has its own characteristics. During the day spent on the farm, we became convinced that camel breeding is very interesting.
“In fact, a camel can give up to 10 liters of milk a day. But our camels give 2 liters each. Because we don’t give them extra food. Camels feed on camel thorns in the pasture. If they are fed more, they will have more milk, but its healing properties will be lost. Unlike other animals, camels are very intelligent. But they need food, like five cows. Basically, they’re insatiable, ”smiles Asrorjon Hikmatov.
According to him, camels not only provide milk, but also wool, which is much appreciated: “1 kg of camel’s wool costs 50 dollars. They make pillows, blankets, clothes out of them. In the future, we intend to start exporting wool. “
Asrorjon Hikmatov told us that if a camel gives birth to a white camel, then it is a real vacation, because white camels are considered unique and are born extremely rarely.
“I also have a white camel. These camels are very expensive. It’s very valuable to me, so I didn’t sell it even for 50 thousand dollars.
Everything comes from God. I have 9 workers, I pay them their salaries, I provide for 9 families, ”he said.
So our day at the camel farm is over, it’s time to come back. We wished the farmer success in his work, and that his love for animals does not fade …
Sarvar Ziyaev, Kun.uz correspondent,
operator – Jahongir Aliboev
translation: Anastasia Tkacheva,