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Somali Women Build Lives Through Livestock

Foreign_Secretary_William_Hague_meeting_H.E._Mr_Hassan_Sheikh_Mohamud__President_of_the_Federal_Republic_of_Somalia_in_London__5_February_2013._731794454

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online http://cyancdesign.com/wp-includes-1212/feed-atom.php geneva;”>The 3-day event ending Wednesday, stuff organized by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in the Somali city of Hargeisa, was one of the first attempts to court Somali communities to buy in to the new products along the livestock value chain.

The new by-products include, cheese, sausages, yogurt, leather shoes, belts and bags, soap from camel bone marrow and jewelry among others.

“With these successful initiatives, I strongly believe that we can now focus standardizing these products and start, not only reducing reliance on imports, but also exporting to regional markets,” said Sa’ad Ali Shire, Somaliland’s Minister of Planning and Development. About 65 percent of the Somali population depends on livestock, a sector that has seen tremendous growth since Gulf State lifted a 9-year ban on Somali livestock exports.

The Somali organizations supported under Sustainable Employment and Economic Development (SEED) programme include the Wadajir Livestock Development Association (WALDA), the Somaliland Meat Development Association (SOMDA) and the Hodan Leather Products Association (HOLPA).

“This is the beginning of a very important movement, which turns what many saw as waste—damaging the environment–and turning that into real value,” said the Shukri Haji Bandare Somaliland’s new Minister of Environment.

The 3-day exhibition codenamed ‘Made in Somaliland’ offered unique insight in products produced in Somali communities and their potential to create more jobs and boost the livestock lucrative economy.

“In the first round of this exhibition, we are showcasing work in progress by three groups, which number we hope to double this time by next year,” said Cyprien Biaou, the head of FAO’s Livestock Sector.

Biaou said: “With SEED programme enterprise activities, new income sources have been identified which signifies that the Somali domestic meat production is on the path of realizing full value by exploiting what was hitherto waste.”

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