Leather in­dus­try lob­bies Govt for pol­icy shift

The Manica Post - - Local News/advertorial - Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Man­i­ca­land Bureau

STAKE­HOLD­ERS in the beef and leather in­dus­try are lob­by­ing Govern­ment for a pol­icy waiver to en­able them to ex­port raw hides they can­not utilise to cur­tail pos­si­ble losses and gen­er­ate rev­enue for the econ­omy.

Speak­ing at an in­dus­try stake­holder meet­ing in Mutare re­cently, di­rec­tor of Board Hides and Skin Mr John Bati­rai said lo­cal tan­ner­ies had no ca­pac­ity to ab­sorb all the hides com­ing from the abat­toirs hence they usu­ally ended up rot­ting be­fore they could be sold.

“Some of the poli­cies that have been put in place are af­fect­ing us be­cause we can­not ex­port raw hides but lo­cal tan­ner­ies are fail­ing to ab­sorb all the hides so they end up rot­ting in the abat­toirs and they have to ab­sorb the cost,” he said.

He said the treat­ment cost of a hide was $13, 50 yet the hide was sell­ing for about $7 leav­ing them with no op­tion but to throw the hides away.

“The leather value chain has a great po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate for­eign cur­rency for the coun­try and if Govern­ment re­vis­its some of th­ese poli­cies that af­fect us, we can re­alise that po­ten­tial,” said Mr Bati­rai.

In 2013, Govern­ment in­tro­duced a levy of $0, 75 on ev­ery kilo­gramme of raw hide for ex­port, a move that was ex­pected to boost value ad­di­tion in the leather in­dus­try, as well as cur­tail the ex­por­ta­tion of raw hides by lo­cal abat­toirs.

How­ever, the col­lapse of the coun­try’s leather sec­tor over the past two decades has seen it fail­ing to ab­sorb all raw hides and skins that are pro­duced lo­cally, leav­ing raw hide ex­ports as the only vi­able op­tion avail­able to mer­chants.

Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of In­dus­try and Com­merce, Mrs Abi­gail Shon­hiwa said ex­porters were ex­pected to make ap­pli­ca­tions to ex­port hides and the per­mits were granted by the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture.

“The idea is that we would want to make sure that th­ese hides are pro­cessed at least and we add value be­fore we ex­port them. What has been hap­pen­ing is that peo­ple have been ap­ply­ing for per­mits to ex­port hides. The per­mits are granted by the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture. As a Min­istry we help by mak­ing fol­low ups on per­mits that might have taken long to be pro­cessed,” she said.

Zim­babwe is set to launch its sec­ond leather in­dus­try strat­egy next month, which is ex­pected to boost pro­duc­tion and ul­ti­mately trade in the re­gion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.