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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Empowering pastoralists through value addition of sheep and goat skins

By Bob Aston
Kenya experiences as high as 70 percent pre and post-slaughter losses in sheep and goat skins. In order to address low value addition of sheep and goats products and by products in Laikipia County, the sheep and goats value chain platform developed a concept note titled “Empowering pastoralist women and youths through value addition of sheep and goat skins in Laikipia County.”
The project which is being implemented by the Agriculture Sector Development Support Program (ASDSP), Laikipia County Government and Il Ng’wesi Conservancy and collaborators like Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Kenya Leather Development Council and Kenya Industrial Property Organization, is aimed at reducing pre and post-slaughter losses of sheep and goats skin from 70 percent to below 20 percent and also increase the cost of value added skins.
Picture of sheeps being exhibited
Some of the issues that the project aims to address include; high losses of skins due to poor pre and post-slaughter practices, low level of value addition for sheep and goat skins and few economic activities for women and youths in Laikipia North Sub County.
Enhancing viable and equitable commercialization of the sheep and goat value chain is expected to play a big role in empowering pastoralist women and youths in Laikipia North Sub County.
Reducing raw skin losses in the County through pre and post slaughter management is expected to increase the availability of skins in the market and also increase price of skins and leather. The skins will be value added through tanning and product development. This will result into improved economic status of women and youths.
Exposure visits have also been planned to Wiyumiririe and Alpharama tanneries and other exposure visits to Kariokor and Athi River Prison to learn about leather utilization. The groups will also be linked to cottage industries that use hair/wool to produce carpets and other products.
Training of trainer sessions will be conducted for the selected Group members on: pre and post-slaughter management of sheep and goat skins, tanning (organic and chemical) and leather product development.
A participatory approach will be used capacity build 120 pastoralist trainers on pre and post slaughter management of skins, group dynamics, product development market linkages and networking.
The project will also involve undertaking tree planting for environmental conservation by increasing tree cover thus reducing soil erosion and increasing water infiltration into the soil.
More than 600 people are expected to benefit directly from the project and be able to practice pre and post practicing recommended pre and post-slaughter management of skins and also be able to produce high level of value added products from leather.
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