Laikipia County Government has entered into partnership with private sector in the leather industry in a bid to improve on the quality of hides and skins produced locally so that farmers can fetch better returns.
Governor Ndiritu Muriithi said that the department of agriculture had been tasked to work closely with livestock farmers in the county on ways to improve animal husbandry in order to produce quality hides and skins that would fetch better prices in the leather industry.
Speaking yesterday when he met Alpharama Limited Managing Director Sambasiva Rao at his Nanyuki office, the governor said that the county through the department of agriculture and livestock was training livestock farmers on good animal husbandry to ensure they get quality hides and skins.
“We are sensitizing livestock farmers on the need to ensure that their animals have healthy skins in order for them to produce quality hides. That’s why we are emphasizing on regular spraying to rid them of parasites such as ticks that damage animal skins,” Governor Muriithi said.
He added that his government was also training and licensing professional flayers at local abattoirs and ensuring they do not damage the skins as this would result to lowering quality.
“We will also provide them with flaying machines and knives to ensure the quality of skins sourced locally as a way of encouraging players in the leather industry to source for the products from Laikipia,” the governor added.
Muriithi added that Laikipia, known for its production of high-quality beef and mutton was also gearing to be a top producer of quality hides and skins by addressing failures in the animal value chain.
Rao said that his company would purchase raw hides and skins from Laikipia and also engage farmers on good animal husbandry to ensure that the products are of the best quality.
The MD of the Athi river-based tanning company added that Kenya had the potential of being a leading leather producer in Africa. Currently Ethiopia is the leading leather producer.
Ethiopia produces five million tons of hides, 8.1 million tons of sheepskin and 7.5 million tons of goatskin annually.
By Martin Munyi