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Experts suggest ways to improve leather product quality

RESEARCHERS and academicians have proposed to the government to set-up modern infrastructures in abattoirs, a move that would save 40 per cent loss of hides during animals’ slaughters.

The call was made over the weekend in a meeting organised by the Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI) in Mwanza and sponsored by the NMB Bank and as well attended by dealers of leather, butchery owners, livestock keepers, among others.

In the course, they also dwelt on how best to add value on livestock products, mostly skins, in a bid to improve herders and national economy in the leather industry.

TALIRI Senior Researcher, Mr Geoffrey Chasama said thorough supervision in abattoirs will not only avoid skins’ loss but also encourage skin processing and leather products manufacturing by local industries due to abundance and quality raw materials. “As a result, there will be no need of skins being exported in a raw form.

We are thankful that the government has set effective investment environment in leather sectors and made available two major skin processing industries in Morogoro and Kilimajaro.

“These two industries have the capacity to use all raw materials produced in the country, but unfortunately, quality skins come as 30 per cent as of now.

“In totality, skin loss is 70 per cent in the country; 30 per cent as a result of poor grazing and 40 per cent as a result of destruction during animal slaughter. “It is easier to fight the loss in abattoirs through setting professional supervisors. The available industries can provide their experts to assist.

The same experts should also support the government’s efforts towards educating the livestock keepers on how best to protect their animals from any harm that might cause skin damages,” he said.

The Senior Researcher further said in order to avoid 30 per cent loss as a result of poor grazing, herdsmen should ensure that grazing grounds are plain, with no thorny bushes that may cause bruises on animal skin and as well as protect their livestock from skin diseases.

On 40 per cent skin loss, Chasama suggested that local industries should be able to produce pure leather products to feed both local and international markets.

Head of Leather Products Technology Department from the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) - Mwanza Campus, Eng Issa Mwangosi said lack of the modern technology and shortage of skilled manpower in the sector were some reasons behind skin loss, especially during animal slaughtering process.

GRUMETI Reserves, an ecotourism company owned by ...

Mwandishi: ABELA MSIKULA, Mwanza

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