Value addition for pastoralists
Garissa Women hanging camel meet popularly known as 'Nyirinyiri' to dry it out

The Kenya Drought Recovery Project aims at restoring and protecting the livelihoods of the drought  affected communities in the North Eastern parts of Kenya. In the Dadaab area of Garissa County one of the programme objective has been to promote alternative livelihoods opportunities among vulnerable women in the hosting community and the Darkanley Star Women group is such.

One of the activities that the women have been involved on, in order to provide for their households has been subsistence farming. However, their produce has been very little due to their poor agricultural skills (since they are from a livestock keeping community) exacerbated by frequent droughts experienced in this area.

Building the skills of these women and focusing on the marketing of locally available products is one of the ways that can ensure sustainable livelihoods among this vulnerable group

Since the target community are livestock keepers, the livestock products both meat and milk are used by these community to provide valuable food for human nutrition. These products can help reduce the amount of food required from outside sources during the emergency, care and maintenance phases of drought.  It is therefore of paramount importance that value addition skills which aim at adding the shelf life of products are improved among the group members.

20 women from the Darkanley star women group were trained in camel meat preservation for the production of the “nyirinyiri”(Somali name for dried camel meat preserved in edible oil) . This is the best known value added product for camel meat with a readily available market all year round.  Nyirinyiri  is a dried camel meat (steak) that is cut into small pieces and boiled in liquid oil then packed in the oil is a delicacy among the Somali community.

Culturally the Somali mother in law brings Nyirinyiri to her sons/ daughters house when she is visiting (signifying the cultural importance of Nyirinyiri) them and the Somali feed on Nyirinyiri for breakfast. Hygienically preserved nyirinyiri has a shelf life of 3-4 months.

The women were trained on choosing meat cuts for nyirinyiri preparation, the hygienic preparation of  ‘Nyirinyiri,’  the strategic marketing of Nyirinyiri, simple records,  profit and loss  accounts and  group dynamics.

With the value addition training, the group uses local products (camel meat) and sells it in the local markets so as to increase the household income and diversify the activities that are carried out by the group.  When asked about the project, the chairlady had this to say:

“From the proceeds made by the sale of nyirinyiri we are able to make a profit of Ksh10,000 (Usd 121) per week .A percentage of the proceeds is saved while the rest is divided among the group members” Said AminaAbdi the groups chair lady. When asked to comment about the outcome of the venture she said; ‘We are able to buy school uniforms for our children and pay for the health  services at the local dispensaries’.

We will start up a butchery where we will sell meat and make nyirinyiri. ‘From the savings we will have made as a group we want to diversify into various businesses’ said  Naima  a member of the group when commenting on the future of the groups’ business. 

Presently 20 households with 126 members are now able to meet their basic daily needs through the  proceeds of nyirinyiri.

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