Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2013, 4, 1287-1292
Published Online December 2013 (
Open Access FNS
From Waste to Employment Opportunities and Wealth
Creation: A Case Study of Utilization of Livestock
By-Products in Hargeisa, Somaliland
Wamalwa Kinyanjui*, Mohamed Sajjad Noor
Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations, Somalia, Nairobi.
Email: *, *, *
Received July 24th, 2013; revised August 24th, 2013; accepted September 2nd, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Wamalwa Kinyanjui, Mohamed Sajjad Noor. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Com-
mons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work
is properly cited. In accordance of the Creative Commons Attribution License all Copyrights © 2013 are reserved for SCIRP and the
owner of the intellectual property Wamalwa Kinyanjui, Mohamed Sajjad Noor. All Copyright © 2013 are guarded by law and by
SCIRP as a guardian.
This article was conducted to establish the involvement of vulnerable women and youths in innovative livestock by-
products value addition to create alternative employment opportunities and diversify wealth creation livelihood activi-
ties through DFID UKaid Sustainable Employment and Economic Development (SEED) funded programme and im-
plemented by FAO Somalia in the security fragile state of Somaliland that has few options of formal employment op-
portunities. The study focused on the processes an d achievements of the SEED programme towards deriving maximum
benefits from livestock by-products instead of concentrating on meat production and consumption only. During the
programme intervention, an initial forty (40) beneficiaries of various trade skills and academic levels were selected
through SOMDA for capacity development with competency based training (CBT) skills. One of the primary advan-
tages of CBT was that it focused on the success of each participant. The training focused on each trainee attaining a
small number of specific and job-related competencies in bone-craft trinkets and laundry soap production. By the end of
SEED phase I, the intervention created a total of 120 direct jobs which were involved in soap and bone-crafts produc-
tion giving the impetus of making full use of the meat value chain and creating a viable source of employment and in-
come for women and youths in Somaliland contributing to increased Somali econo my from the main lifeline of Somalia
population that is anchored on livestock production and trade.
Keywords: SEED; Employment Creation; Bonecrafts; Soap Production; Economic Development
1. Introduction
Animal by-products include all parts of a live animal that
are not part of the dressed carcass. Being produced
jointly in the process of harvesting meat from the animal,
by-products constitute an estimated 44 percent of the
liveweight of cattle [1]. The byprodu cts provide many of
the raw materials used to make various products [1].
Hides and sk ins are tanned and processed into leather for
shoes, purses, clothing, car seats, and other items while
intestines can be used as food containers (sausage cas-
ings). Other byproducts can be used for pharmaceutical,
cosmetic, household, and industrial products.
Inedible animal byproducts include hide or skin, hair,
horns, hooves, teeth, fats, bones, ligaments and cartilag e,
feet, glands, blood, and lungs. These are the primary raw
materials used in the manufacture of a broad assortment
of industrial, household, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and
medical supplies, in addition to such products as lubri-
cants, plastics, soaps, glycerin, and gelatins [2]. In addi-
tion to having domestic value, edible offal contributes as
much as one-fourth of the volume of US beef exports and
one-fifth of the volume of US pork exports [3].
Some inedible offals, along with normally edible offal
that has been deemed unsuitable for human consumption,
bones from meat processing, and cattle that are unsuit-
able for human consumption (non-ambulatory and other
condemned cattle), are rendered for use in the industrial,
*Corresponding author.
From Waste to Employment Opportunities and Wealth Creation: A Case Study of
Utilization of Livestock By-Products in Hargeisa, Somaliland
cosmetic, and feed manufacturing industries. Processors
render products by heating animal tissues and skimming
off the fats and oils. Both the skimmed fats and oils and
the residual materials are converted to materials that have
economic value, generally as inputs into further manu-
facturing processes for soap among other detergents.
Rendering also helps minimize the release of animal tis-
sues into the environment as potential biological hazards
[2]. Rendered meat and bone meal are valuable sources
of protein in pig and poultry feed, pet foods, and even
In pastoral communities like in Somalia, hides and
skins are highly valued as they contribute to income gen-
eration. They are sold either as green or after preserva-
tion to various stages (air dried, sun dried, treated with
industrial salt). Other products including fats, bones,
white offal, lungs, hooves, blood are usually discarded on
site of slaughter or at municipal landfills (dumpsites) in
some municipalities. These contribute to public health
hazards and cause environmental pollution. Condemned
carcasses as a result of disease infections furthermore
become a public health risk to domestic and wild an imals
that grace around such municipal landfills. Risks of dis-
ease spread are moreover high in cases of trans-boundary
animal diseases.
The objective of this article was to establish the in-
volvement of vulnerable women and youths in innovative
livestock by-products value addition to create alternative
employment opportunities and diversify wealth creation
livelihood activities.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Study Site
The study was carried out for over one year (September,
2011-November, 2012) in North Western (Somaliland)
Republic of Somalia. Hargeisa slaughterhouse and mu-
nicipality were selected for the study. This was selected
based on availability of Somali Meat Development As-
sociation (SOMDA) whose capacity had been built by
FAO with funds from UKaid under Sustainable Em-
ployment and Economic Development (SEED) pro-
gramme to utilize bones for making ornaments and tal-
low (animal fat) for making soap.
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From Waste to Employment Opportunities and Wealth Creation: A Case Study of
Utilization of Livestock By-Products in Hargeisa, Somaliland 1289
2.2. Data Collection
This involved both qualitative and quantitative data col-
lection methodologies.
Secondary data collection involved reviewing of
FAO’s literature in its database (FAO Somalia) and
searching from the internet of relevant scientific papers.
Primary data collection involved field visits to study
area, application of semi-structured questionnaire to key
informants of SOMDA officials, Somaliland government
officials and focus group discussion with trainees, retail-
ers of soap and the bone craft products. The question-
naire aimed at obtaining information regarding voca-
tional trainings received and types of equipments and
tools provided to establish livestock by-products utiliza-
3. Findings and Discussion
3.1. Interventions
FAO Somalia through SEED programme funded by De-
partmental Fund for International Development (DFID)
of UKaid focused on creating economic wealth and em-
ployment opportunities in Somalia, a country embroiled
in conflict in Central/South of country and fragile stabil-
ity in Northeast and Northwest parts of the country. The
programme was targeting the vulnerable groups of
women and young people in conflict affected communi-
ties. The SEED Programme explored opportunities to
develop new innovations and research in market devel-
opment and foster improved access to markets as well as
new employment creation opportunities along the meat
value chain including livestock by-products.
3.2. Tour Learning Trips
Learning tour in regional facilities to acquire hands-on
experience in women and youth groups Cottage Industry
within a Somali-set up in Kenya for promoting Bone
Craft in Value Addition to Livestock by-products was
undertaken by implementing FAO personnel to emulate
practical lessons that could be integrated into the Enter-
prise Development Programme that was being under-
taken by FAO in Somaliland through SEED programme.
One group in Kenya known as Bemos Craft Developers
was found to specialize in production of artistic products
primarily derived from bones (Cattle, Goats, Camels,
Sheep, Fish), Cattle Horns, Wood and Metals, singly or
mixed. The products included among others, flower
vases, spoons, candle stands, key holders and a wide
range of bone jewelleries, horn jewelleries and a variety
of horn bracelets. Furthermore, the group was extracting
bone marrow and fats to make ghee used for deep frying
Somali traditional small meats. Bone craft enterp rise was
found to be a viable option that could be undertaken by
both Somali women and youth once trained to produce
various products from horns and bones as a means of
product diversification to create wealth and employment
opportunities to fight the rampant poverty in Somaliland.
3.3. Capacity Development of Beneficiary Group
An initial forty (40) beneficiaries of various trade skills
and academic levels were selected through SOMDA de-
velopment with competency based training (CBT) skills.
One of the primary advantages of CBT was that it fo-
cused on the success of each participant. The compe-
tency-based approach was useful in training each trainee
to attain a small number of specific and job-related com-
petencies. These included CBT on soap making, bone
hand crafts and Mugmad hygienic processing and pack-
aging for 40 targeted beneficiaries at the start of the pro-
gramme. An additional 80 participants were later re-
cruited and given the same training by the end of the
programme in July, 2012. The beneficiaries were ex-
pected to be absorbed into private enterprises that devel-
oped the livestock by-products on a commercial basis
though on a small scale. The first 40 beneficiaries were
trained in basic skills of bone marrow harvesting from
the bones in addition to normal fats from the carcass.
3.4. Soap Production
The beneficiaries were trained on how to make soap from
the extracted bone marrow and other body fats from live-
stock (Figure 1). The fats and extracted bone marrow
were added into a measured quantity of water. An appro-
priate quantity of caustic soda was added to the mixture.
The mixture was boiled for about 2 - 3 hours. Along the
boiling, a colouring agent of desired soap colour was
added in addition to traditional perfume extracted from
the local gum tree and resin giving the soap the natural
scent. The resultant mixture after boiling was stirred until
it started becoming thick. At this stage it was emptied
Figure 1. Bone marrow and fats harvesting fr om bone s.
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From Waste to Employment Opportunities and Wealth Creation: A Case Study of
Utilization of Livestock By-Products in Hargeisa, Somaliland
into wooden moulds for shaping. The wooden moulds
were later replaced with aluminium sheet moulds for
improved shaping. The aluminium moulds were finally
replaced with mechanized soap plodders that helped
produce standardized shaped and branded laundry bar
soaps-Bilan (Figure 2). An addition of Aloe vera which
is in abundant supply in Somaliland is being considered
in the next stage of production so that the final product
may be marketed as a cleaning soap or beauty-product.
The availability of gums and resins means that soap can
also be perfumed with organ ic ingredients.
This locally made soap retailed at lower price as com-
pared to imported one making it a preference for many
users. Furthermore, the high domestic demand was at-
tributed to the soap being entirely organic. Majority of
wholesale and retail outlets went after the new innova-
tion soap for domestic retail. The marketing outlets inti-
mated of making outstanding sales for Bilan bar soap as
compared to imported ones because the soap is entirely
organic and slightly cheaper.
3.5. Production of Bone Crafts (Ornaments)
The trainees were also trained on how to utilize the left-
over bones that were usually damped into municipal
garbage site. The meat was trimmed from the required
bones of the carcass and collected outside the operation
area in a heap. These were then cut as per recommended
size and then boiled to clean out any remaining meat
pieces before soaking and scrubbing in soapy water. The
boiled bones were thoroughly cleaned with soap and hot
water to produce clean bones ready for use (Figure 3).
The latter were shaped into various trinkets (ornaments)
including earrings, necklaces, bottle openers, bungles,
finger rings, flower vases, spoons, candle stands, key
holders and a wide range of other bone jewelleries from
the previously discarded bones (Figure 4). The benefici-
Figure 2. Finished brande d soap-bilan.
Figure 3. Sorted horns & bones for trinkets.
Figure 4. Assorted finished trinkets (ornaments).
aries were helped on how to cut the bones into various
desired shapes for earmarked trinkets. To accomplish th is,
the trainees were supplied with various tools and equip-
ments including tables, timber moulds (initially) bench
grinders, drilling machines, caustic soda, sand papers,
disposable dust masks, standard rings, denim and carton
material for sanding wheels among others to enable
trainees produce required trinkets and soap.
3.6. Jobs Creation along the Livestock
By-Products Value Chain
The intervention created a total of 120 direct jobs who
were involved in either soap, bone-crafts (trinkets) or
Mugmad production. This was besides other indirect jobs
that included bones collectors, fat trimmers, final prod-
ucts retailers in shops and other product outlets. The in-
tervention further reduced piling of bones that were ini-
tially discarded into municipal landfills contributing to
environmental pollution and public health hazard.
Moreover, the by-product value addition served as an
alternative source of employment and wealth creation for
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From Waste to Employment Opportunities and Wealth Creation: A Case Study of
Utilization of Livestock By-Products in Hargeisa, Somaliland 1291
majority of women and youths who were the main bene-
ficiaries. Locals and meat traders interviewed voiced
their great appreciation to SEED programme intervention
for creating alternative sources of livelihood earning
from a source they hardly thought of especially in a
country recovering from ravages of civil conflict that has
embroiled Central and Southern Somalia for over two
3.7. Tracer Study Findings
A tracer study was carried out to establish the perform-
ance of enterprise development activities along the live-
stock value chain. Table 1 shows a mean daily produc-
tion of bone craft and soap in terms of pieces. An aver-
age daily production of bone craft was 548 pieces with a
standard deviation of ±805 while that of soap production
was 1083 pieces with a standard deviation of ±722 dur-
ing the time of study.
Table 2 shows average weekly income from bone
craft and soap production intervention. The company
earned an average of USD 44.6 with a standard deviation
of ±44.36 from bone crafts and USD 50.2 with a standard
deviation of ±47.86 from soap production. The interven-
tion had created alternative source of income for vulner-
able women and youths from livestock by-products that
were initially discarded.
Table 3 highlights the average daily jobs created from
the bone-craft and soap production along the livestock
value chain. On average, a mean of 8 and 7 personnel
Table 1. Average daily production (finishe d pr oduc ts).
Statistics Bone craft (Kg/Pieces) Soap (pieces)
N 6 13
Mean 548 1083
Std. deviation ±805 ±722
Table 2. Average weekly income (USD).
Statistics Bone craft Soap
N 7 12
Mean 44.6 50.2
Std. deviation ±44.36 ±47.86
Table 3. Number of people employed.
Statistics Bone craft Soap
N 3 11
Mean 8.0 7.0
Std. deviation - ±1.9
were employed in bone craft and soap production respec-
tively with a standard deviation of ±1.9 on soap produc-
tion during the time of the study.
3.8. Sustainability
The non-profit making organization; SOMDA has been
supported to establish offshoot companies; Bilan and
future way for marketing their products. Development of
tailored curriculum was carried out to specifically ad-
dress the standardization and expansion of the products
production. In addition to curriculum development, mar-
keting strategy of the goods was developed. This is ex-
pected to support marketing of the products especially
bone craft trinkets in and outside of the country to ensure
sustainability. This business initiative shows great poten-
tial since the entire animal is used, thereby accessing
multiple market value chains. In addition, income and
eventual profit streams are multi-dimensional.
4. Conclusion
Women in Somaliland are now involved in innovative
efforts to produce jewellery from bones and laundry soap
from camel fat and bone marrow. Currently, livestock
value chain in Hargeisa does not end at the production of
meat and their associated products only. The fact that
there is more than just “meat” that can be produced from
livestock, is giving women and youth involved in this
venture an opportunity to be entrepreneurial, and eco-
nomically self-sufficient. The impetus to make full use of
the livestock value chain has created a viable source of
employment and income generation for women in Soma-
liland which increase the Somali economy from the main
lifeline of meat production and livestock trade.
5. Acknowledgements
The documented opinions expressed herein do not repre-
sent in any way the position of FAO Somalia.
Publishers first and foremost express heartfelt appre-
ciation to FAO Somalia Nairobi office for availing facili-
ties and resources to carry out the research work. We are
indeed indebted to Dr. Luca Alinovi, FAO Somalia offi-
cer in charge, Solomon Munyua and Elsafi Elmahdi;
former Programme man agers and Juddy Tindi Op iyo; the
enterprise Development officer; SEED DFID funded
OSRO/SOM/00 7/UKaid programme for providing all re-
quired resource material. Further acknowledged is the
Minister of Livestock, Dr Abdi Aw Dahir Ali, Somali-
land for his full support of the programme during the
entire period of implementation. Moreover, the officer
in-charge of FAO Somalia, Hargeisa office, Mohamed
Open Access FNS
From Waste to Employment Opportunities and Wealth Creation: A Case Study of
Utilization of Livestock By-Products in Hargeisa, Somaliland
Open Access FNS
Jama and Dr Ahmed Aidid are appreciated for their tire-
less support during the study period of almost one year.
Further gratitude and recognition go to SOMDA founder
managing director and deputy, Swizzer and SAED re-
spectively for their innovation and determination to suc-
ceed which made it possible for this worthy intervention.
[1] L. M. Daniel, J. J. Rachel and H. M. Kenneth, “Where’s
the (Not) Meat? Byproducts from Beef and Pork Produc-
tion,” 2011.
[2] J. G. Alicia, “The Effect of Internal Endpoint Tempera-
ture on Smoked Sausage Quality Stored under Light
Emitting Diode and Fluorescent Lighting,” 2012.
[3] G. Pierre, A. M. Harold, D. Jeroen, T. Shirley and D. H.
Cees, “Livestock in a Changing Landscape,” Vol. 2, 2010.