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Plans revealed for new Kenyan leather park

Kenya’s tanners have called for reliable supplies of home-grown hides.

Image © imaginextra

The government of Kenya has announced its intention to build a $164 million leather industry park in an effort to transform the East African nation’s underdeveloped tanning industry into a key economic contributor. A reported $5.7 million has reportedly already been spent on preliminary works, including feasibility studies, master plan development and strategic environmental impact assessment for the proposed facility.

However, there have been negative comments about existing policies which some say may impact on the success of the project. According to Robert Njoka, chairman of the Tanners Association of Kenya, the park will not attract investors unless local tanneries are protected from low-cost imports. The Association is also calling for a government crackdown on the smuggling of skins and hides and the implementation of an 80 per cent duty on exports of raw hides and skins to ensure that local producers have an adequate supply of raw materials.

The existing 14 tanneries in Kenya are said to be currently operating at less than 40 per cent of their capacity due to the difficulty in obtaining reliable supply of raw materials, meaning that they are often forced to import hides and skins from neighbouring countries.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 2 of the January 2017 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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