Dynamics and driving forces of hides, skins, leather and leather goods production and trade in Tanzania
Hides, skins, leather and leather products are most traded commodities in the world and demand is increasing. Countries with large livestock populations have great opportunity to generate revenue from this resource. Studies were conducted in slaughterhouses, tanneries and leather good factories in Tanzania, aimed at determining quantities, qualities, processing and trade of hides and skins. Productions from slaughters are more than 3 million cattle hides, 3 million goatskins and 1 million sheepskins. Collected and exported quantities were 1,174,585 cattle hides, 1,591,990 and 304,167 goat and sheep skins. Companies from these destinations pre-pay livestock traders in advance and collect hides and skins at slaughter. Hides and skins are chrome or vegetable tanned at several industries including Afro Leather Industries Dar es Salaam while Himo Tanners and Planters and Afro Leather Industries produce finished leather. Qualities of hides were low because of flay cuts and brand markings. There is one leather footwear factory at Moshi and small scale leather goods factories in Arusha, Moshi, Mwanza, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Singida, Morogoro and in other places by individuals, youth groups, Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA) and Small Industries Organization (SIDO). Hides and skins processing is constrained by high international demand for raw hides and skins, inadequate investment in abattoirs, hides and skins collection and storage facilities and lack of trained personnel. Footwear and leather goods are constrained by lack of factories, competition from used goods, synthetic plastics and uninformed market. Investment in hides, skins and leather industry supported by training programmes has potential to generate great monetary revenue.
Keywords: Hides, skin, leather, value chain, slaughter ruminants