Friday , July 30 2021

Lack of leather standards policy blames surge in fake imports



Not JAMES KARIUKI
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The lack of quality standards policy provides a raw bargain for consumer products.

Industry players noted that foreign traders and bag makers passed products made from resin as genuine and thus deny billions of shillings in the local sector.

This is despite protests across the sector that Kenya is exporting jobs, revenue as well as allowing unscrupulous shoes and luggage makers to sell products that look good in legitimate leather products.

"We have a capacity to put 40 million pairs of shoes to Kenyans every year but cheap counterfeit leather products have bought the entire market to make Kenya dump for fake and fast worn products once they will be bought, "said Cobblers Association Kariokor Peter Kitheka.

Mr Kitheka, who has been in the leather sector over the last 30 years, said he had participated in different forums with senior government officials where it was agreed that standards for leather products were being drawn up and implemented.

"Why do we allow harmful resin products to be sold to Kenyans and then complain that Kenya is a country of cancer-related disorders. Kebs must not let me allow any counterfeit products were classed as leather, "he told participants last week at a workshop that was launched to launch the Leather Apex Society, an incondition entity to promote growth in the sector.

Kenya is estimated to lose up to Sh5 billion annually due to poor leather quality even as the sub-sector has identified itself as a key driver to grow added value.

The figure is reached by an estimated Sh3 billion that would have been earned by primary producers and a Sh2 billion who would have been bagged by danneries by exporting better quality products.

A deep World Bank-funded deep plumbing study recently found on the leather sector that the lack of certification services hurts the local prospects of growing the industry since good imports continue to be sold locally despite evidence that they were not is valid.

"At the end of the value chain manufacturing, prizes and leather quality recognition programs can be developed to stimulate innovation and nurture competition based on different quality and design.

Finally, the enforcement of quality standards, especially for imported products, can be increased, "the study noted the name of Kenya Leather Industry: Diagnosis, Strategy and Action.

The survey found that local leather companies who enjoyed a global audience such as Bata and Sandstorm were worried about their production size to grow their magnificent brands under the Made in Kenya logo.

"Kenya LDP Development Council, with the help of Kebs, can take a lead role in developing certification standards, which will lead employee training and supervisors across the entire leather chain," said the study published in 2015.

The meeting, who nominated for joint efforts to revitalize the local leather industry, heard that Kenya needed 44 million pairs of shoes annually but only 3 million sold by local companies with 26.7 million products & # 39; synthetic imported.

"Kenya also imports another 15 million shoes used in mitumba yards. Our market problem is but access to quality leather to make Kenya branding products since we export up to 95 percent from a semi-processed ledger of thinneries to leather factories for producing jackets, bags and shoes as well as belts, "says general secretary LASK Beatrice Mwasi.

Ms Mwasi added their main task to bring all the players to a board and speak in one voice when trying to answer their problems.

The meeting heard that Kenya needed to invest in modern industrial machinery to facilitate cobbers and other leather products makers to access well-finished items.

Mr Kitheka welcomed the persistent installation of a common manufacturing facility in Kariokor, Nairobi who would be commissioning next February saying that it will help to improve the quality of their finished products made in the past in the past.

"It will improve earnings for the 300 vulnerables in Kariokor who now make sandals sold across East and West Africa," he said.

The Ethiopian leather industries enjoy using modern processing machines that facilitate mass production where the cost of making a pair of loafers in Sh728 is compared to Sh944 Kenya.

Currently, the government is installing a 500 acre leather industrial park in Kinanie in the Machakos County where it has invited stakeholders to replace from tanks, leather manufacturing centers to display stands. This could see manufacturers of foreign leather products being motivated to install a shop with the government promising to impose an ultimate export ban for semi-processing leather.

Data from the National Office of Kenya Statistics shows that slaughterhouses in the country are an average source of 2.2 million cattle and calves a year, while sheep and goats are 6.4 million.


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