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Kenya to boost its leather & tanning sector
May '12
The Kenyan Ministry of Industrialization intends to increase its earnings from the leather and tanning industry from existing Sh6 billion per annum to Sh9-10 billion per annum by next year, Industrialization Assistant Minister Nderitu Muriithi said while inaugurating a two-day leather industry conference and exhibition in Nairobi.

The Ministry plans to achieve this goal through strategies like development of clusters for these industries, extending incentives and additional research, he added.

Joseph Njeru, Coordinator of the Micro and Small Enterprises Competitiveness Project at the Ministry, informed that the Ministry is pressing for inclusion of the proposals in forthcoming national budget. If this happens, it would make leather items exports more attractive through removal of certain tariffs.

The Ministry is also prioritizing export of value added processed leather, rather than raw hide. Presently, Kenya ships in shoes from several countries including Italy and Egypt that import hides from Kenya.

A Kenya Leather council has also been constituted to encourage development of the industry, which has been afflicted by poor quality hides, resulting mainly from unwanted markings or cuts during slaughter.

Mr. Muriithi said that as they encourage production of finished goods domestically, they expect the sector's employability to grow from current 17,000 people to over 100,000 people.

He also informed that a pilot tanning process has also been launched in the country to boost domestic production.

Talking about the exhibition, he said it focuses on showcasing locally made finished leather items.

Stating it to be the first of its kind expo to be held in Kenya, Mr. Njeru said several leather industry exhibitors are showcasing their products including leather belts, shoes and bags.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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