How To Start Dry Kpomo (Cow Skin) Business In Nigeria Or Africa: Guide

How To Start Dry Kpomo (Cow Skin) Business In Nigeria Or Africa: Guide | Image Source: Maestro

Kpomo is processed cow skin, which makes up about 35% of the entire meat produced in a cow. Over the years, it has been essential to lots of consumers in industries such as the food industry, cosmetic industry, pharmaceutical industry and more especially, in leather works. 

Raw hides and skins, even leather, are one of the most exported non-oil products in Nigeria, generating about $75.3 million as total revenue.

Nigeria consumes about 1 million metric tons of cow meat annually with about 30% of this meat being cow skin or hides, also known as Kpomo, making the Kpomo business a very profitable one with high local and international demand with good profit margins.

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What is Kpomo?

Kpomo, also known as Kanda or Ponmo (in Nigerian local parlance) is processed cow skin. It is a very common delicacy enjoyed in all parts of Nigeria, by different tribes and cultures.


What Is Kpomo Production?

Kpomo production is the process of making Kpomo from cowhides, and it entails the right selection of the cow to the separation of the skin from the body of the cow to the process of converting the skin to Kpomo.

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Business Opportunities in Kpomo Production

1). Source of Food:

Kpomo is an essential delicacy to Africans, and most especially, Nigerians, as it is consumed by all tribes and regions, and can be eaten in various forms in different kinds of meals.

2). Source Of Animal Feed

Kpomo is also used in the production of pet animal feeds like dog and cat feed. It can also be prepared and served alone to your pets or mixed with other food.

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Facts and Benefits of the Kpomo

  • Kpomo, compared to regular meats, has low protein and low fat.
  • A 100g of boiled thick Kpomo contains about 224.65kcal of energy, 6.80g of carbohydrate, about 43.9g of water, 46.9g of protein, 1.09g of fat and 0.02g of fibre
  • For micronutrients, it contains small amounts of calcium (61mg), iron (4.3mg), magnesium (12mg), phosphorus (36mg) and zinc (6.79mg)
  • Kpomo is a very affordable kind of meat
  • Kpomo is essential for weight loss since it contains little calories
  • Severe health risks from kpomo come from processors who roast the hides over burning tyres or petrochemical fires. 
  • Kpomo is a source of livelihood. 
  • Discovery made by some scientists as far back as the 1980s shows that Kpomo could slow down the ageing process. 
  • Gelatin/collagen is extracted from cow skin and used in various forms in the food industry to make food items such as jelly, ice cream, fruit or wine gums.
  • In pharmaceutical industries, gelatin extract from cow skin is also used in making the casing for medicines and added to drugs as a gelling agent
  • In cosmetic industries, gelatin extract from cow skin could also be added to beauty creams/products

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Types Of Kpomo

1). Dark Kpomo: 

Here, the hides are roasted over an open wood fire and then scraped to remove the hair and burnt coating. Afterwhich they are then cut and boiled.

How healthy dark Kpomo is depends on the fire. Wood is generally a minor problem while using tires and petrochemicals are a significant health problem.

2). White Kpomo: 

The hides are separated from the whole body of the cow and then shaved. After this, it is boiled until tender enough for consumption.

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How to Start Kpomo Business in Nigeria: Step by Step Guide

The Kpomo production process for consumption is not a tough one. It only just requires a great deal of patience and perseverance:

1). Roasting The Cow Skin:

The first stage of kpomo production involves the application of heat. Logs of woods are to be arranged to form a fireplace, and then fire is set on it. After the fire is set, the hide or skin is put into the fire to burn until it shrinks to the smallest form and is blackened.

2). Boiling The Roasted Cow Skin:

A drum of water is then placed on another fireplace and left to boil. The blackened Kpomo is put inside the boiled water and is cooked till it swells back. 

3). Cooling And Packaging:

After the skin is cooked, it is allowed to cool down and is then put into big plastic drums filled with water to soak overnight.

The Kpomo is soaked so that the bitterness of the fire will be eradicated. If the Kpomo is to be a dried repackaged one, it may not be soaked overnight. But if soaked, it will be oven-dried, then cut to specific sizes.

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Challenges of the Kpomo Business In Nigeria

Here are some challenges that can affect starting Kpomo business in Nigeria & Africa:

  • Lack of funding for large scale production
  • Lack of highly equipped storage facilities 
  • Lack of efficient production mechanisms
  • Poor funding of research activities
  • Lack of easy access to the international market
  • Lack of funds to import international standard processing machinery
  • Thieves and criminals
  • Poorly managed supply chain
  • Low consumer purchasing power
  • Marketing challenges
  • Lack of experience
  • Use of traditional unhealthy procession processes
  • Inconsistent pricing systems
  • Health consequences from the harmful production process

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To Sum It Up

Kpomo is very high in demand and the business can be started with as little as 10,000 Naria. It doesn’t come with many challenges provided that there is startup capital and adequate technical know-how. 

The kpomo business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your own ability to build a wide local supply chain network. If you’re looking for a meat-based business to venture into, the kpomo farming business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.


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