Camel milk looming as future powerhouse in Australian agriculture
Following on a major boom in demand for camel milk in the United States, the demand for the product in Australia has exceeded the supply, putting farmers under pressure to keep up.
John Harvey, managing director of agricultural research firm AgriFutures Australia, said that camel farms often start as alternative income sources but could soon become powerhouses.
"Milk from camels has been consumed by people for more than 6,000 years, much longer than we have consumed cows' milk," Harvey told News Corp Australia on Thursday.
"Over the next five years, don't be surprised to see a major increase in Australian camel milk production.
"The fact that camels are so well suited to Australian conditions and we have a large population of wild camels is also assisting with the growth of the industry. Some dairies are domesticating wild female camels to use as dairy camels."
In addition to milk, camel farmers also produce camel cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, skincare and camel milk powder.
Warwick and TJ Greena are camel farmers in South Australia (SA) who recently moved their herd of 48 camels from desert north of Adelaide to open a tourist venue in the coastal town Robe, 340 kilometers south-east of the state's capital.
"The industry here is in its infancy, but has been very successful in the United States," TJ Hill told News Corp Australia.
"There are certainly more and more camel dairies popping up in every state. I see huge potential." ■