THE government has outlined strategies aimed at stimulating the growth of leather industry in the country.
The plans will among others enhance the competitiveness in the industry as well as supplementing the government’s efforts in making Tanzania an industrial environment Country come 2025.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Fisheries and Livestock Development, Professor Elisante Ole Gabriel said in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday that the plans include increasing investment in the value addition on leather products and laying out better environment to attract investors.
Other strategies include the improvement of curriculum development on leather based industries to produce experts to develop the sector as well as setting a management board on leather industry.
“Other plans would be the enhancement of the Tanzanians to love and buy leather products made in Tanzania- --the move which will help develop large market for the products,” he said at a meeting with Leather Association of Tanzania (LAT) and other stakeholders.
The meeting was to discuss and deliberate on best plans to enhance development of the leather industry in the country. According to statistics by Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Tanzania imports over 50 million pair of shoes per year.
The PS said the LAT and other partners in the leather industry have the responsibility to cooperate with the government in ensuring value addition in leather sector.
“We should work together to add value in leather products by ensuring we process the products in all the stages and stop exporting raw hides and skin,” he said his ministry will collaborate with the Ministries of Investment, Industries and Trade to seek for investors as well as market for the products.
According to the PS, Tanzania has a population of 30.5 million cows, 18.8 million goats and 5.3 sheep which provide important locally available resources that is raw materials for tanning the industry in the country.
Speaking during the meeting the Secretary of Leather Association of Tanzania Mr Joram Wakari said that the leather industry faces various challenges including lack of enough professional peoples and low value addition in the leather industry.
He said the challenges undermine production of leather products in Tanzania as many tonnes of skins and hides are wasted due to poor handling.