By Azania Post Reporter
LOCAL leather and skin manufacturers have asked community to continue buying Tanzanian products in order to increase income and livelihoods.
Speaking in an interview, Keneth Woiso who is the Managing Director of Woiso Original Products said local producers have now improved their products which can compete at international markets.
“We thank the government for sensitizing people to create a culture of buying local products for the benefits of the nation and individuals,” he said.
He said at the moment, most manufacturers produce goods of high quality which can be sold at any market in the East African region and beyond.
Woiso urged livestock keepers to ensure that they preserve the skin in order to get high quality leather products.
Already the Tanzanian government has announced to revive the leather industries in order to create employment and improve income to the government coffers.
According to the Minister for Industry and Trade Charles Mwijage :“We are looking to revive the defunct leather industries and establish new ones to process and utilise the millions of skins produced in Tanzania every year.”
Tanzania is second in Africa, after Ethiopia, in the numbers of livestock the country has. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Development, Tanzania keeps 23 million heads of cattle, 16 million goats, seven million sheep and two million pigs.
The country imports between 31,000 and 42,000 pairs of leather shoes from China and Southeast Asia, but less than three per cent of them are made from pure leather.
Low value addition in the leather industry has undermined production of leather products in Tanzania, with thousands of tonnes of skins and hides wasted due to poor handling, Mr Mwijage said.
Tanzania has eight small and medium-sized leather factories operating below capacity, both in collecting and processing raw hides and skins.
Under the five-year development plan 2016-2020, the government has set a target for speeding up industrialisation to make each of Tanzania’s 26 regions attract manufacturing industries and agro-processing factories.