Hides and Skins three-year project launched
The Intermediate Technology Development Group Southern Africa, in collaboration with Leather Institute of Zimbabwe, the Eastern and Southern Africa Leather Industries Association launched a three year project, Commercialization Of Hides And Skins By Improving Collection And Quality In Small Holder Farming Systems In Botswana, Malawi, Zambia And Zimbabwe on the 21st of June 2003 at the Harare International Conference Centre, Zimbabwe.
Funded by the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) - a market oriented intergovernmental financial institution established in 1989 - the three-year project focuses on improving collection and quality of hides and skins in Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The project was conceived at the Eastern and Southern Africa Leather Industries Association (ESALIA) meeting held in Harare in 2000, where the concern with the shortage of leather and the increasing amount of leather imports into the region was raised.
The purpose of the project is to improve the quality and increase the availability of hides and skins for domestic and export markets, and ultimately increase earnings for producers. The project further seeks to establish and implement quality standards and certification systems to guarantee the quality of raw hides and skins reaching the markets.
There are four critical components within the project. These are: Establishing a system for improved collection of hides and skins in the small-holder producer sector, improving quality through management and pricing incentives, improving marketing and trade of hides and skins from the primary producers to the domestic and international markets and project co-ordination and management.
The primary beneficiaries of the project are primary producers of hides and skins (farmers and butchers), traders, exporters, artisans and tanners. Tanners will in turn purchase better quality raw materials, enabling them to produce high quality leather.
The launch was conducted over three days. A Leather Minifare that preceded the official launch provided a national window through which hundreds of local players in the sector exhibited diverse leather products and leather derivatives. The event was graced by the tour of the exhibition stands by a delegation from the CFC, ESALIA, FAO and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and International Trade who officially launched the project. The third and final day focused on the stakeholders meeting that was complimented by a tour of a local leading tannery and abattoir. The event attracted huge interest from the general public.
The launch was a great success. It attracted wide attention and participation from the public and private sector. In addition, it revealed the diversity of the leather sector and stakeholder buy in. We are poised for a series of consultative meetings as we progressively implement the project.
|This article appeared in issue 1 of Appropriate Initiatives, ITDGPractical Action Southern Africa's newsletter, November 2003|
The Appropriate Initiatives Newsletter shares the experiences and lessons emerging from our work with small-scale producer communities, and as well as being read online, can be downloaded as a full-colour PDF document for printing. Publications index
Articles from the November 2003 issue:
- Small-scale beekeepers establish lobbying platform
- ITDGPractical Action's information service assists in small enterprise Development
- SMEs providing a gateway to income generation
- Commodity associations: a negotiating tool for Nyanga farmers
- Women make a break-through into the construction industry
- Launch of the Hides and Skins Initiative