Value addition and Quality Assurance
The Hides, Skins and Leather sector in Kenya has suffered numerous challenges some bordering on quality assurance aspects. Leather and leather products from the country have often failed to penetrate the world market due to the wanting nature of their quality.
Further, Kenya has overtime been known to be a huge exporter of wet blue leather and raw hides and skins at the expense of value addition. This move has often weighed heavily on the local leather industry, creating a huge deficit on raw materials.
To the address the above challenges, KLDC has taken significant steps to revamp the industry, as discussed below:
(i) Capacity Building
The Council has invested considerably in capacity building of various players in the leather value chain, as outlined below:
- In collaboration with the University of Nairobi, the Council developed training curricular for leather technology training courses by the institution. These collaborations also led to the introduction of Diploma, Degrees and PhD courses by the University.
- The Council conducted training on flayers at Kiamaiko to impart them with necessary knowledge in proper flaying techniques.
- KLDC has seen training of 30 people from the six tannery management committees of the mini-leather processing units under construction in Bungoma, Baringo, Kajiado, Isinya, Garissa and Wajir Counties. This was done to equip the management committees with requisite skills to enable proper management of the said tanneries.
On the same breath, KLDC saw training of two youth from each of the six tanneries to spearhead the tanneries’ activities to expose them to basic tanning and leather goods production skills.
The Council also organized for benchmarking sessions for the aforementioned committees with existing tanneries to have a clear picture of what to be expected in their respective projects.
- Further, the Council through donor support including the COMESA secretariat and World Bank has seen training of 200 shoe artisans to equip them with new ideas which would assist them upgrade to higher levels of production.
- Through the National Development Management Authority (NDMA)/UNIDO, KLDC trained 60 stakeholders from the Lodwar and Dadaab rural tannery and leather utilization unit, respectively, to expose them to operations in the industry as well as furnish them with basic knowledge and skills in tanning and leather goods production.
(ii) Policy Intervention
In line with the Government policy of value addition, the Council has spearheaded various activities towards moving the country’s sector from semi-processing to finishing stages. As such, KLDC in consultation with stakeholders has seen through the revision of the export tax on raw hides and skins from 40% to 80% to encourage value addition.
In addition, KLDC has developed a concept note that outlines the roadmap for the leather sector. The concept note has been shared with the Ministry for implementation. The roadmap is based on the four goals of the Council, i.e Value addition and quality assurance, market development, Research and Development, Resource and Infrastructure Development.