‘Work with small-scale leather farmers’

ZAMBIA’S leather industry players need to work with small-scale farmers through empowering them with skills to enhance the quality of hides they produce, Zamleather general manager Richard Franklin has said.
Zamleather, a subsidiary of Zambeef Products Plc, operates under three sub-divisions which include Wet Blue, Leather and Zamshu.
Mr Franklin said farmers need to be trained on how to correctly brand animals and treat the hides.
“The placing of a brand mark can reduce the value of a hide up to 50 percent and it can be something as simple as a small 10 centimetre brand mark in the wrong place and that hide can go from being a top value hide to being a very poor quality hide, yet the rest of the hide is absolutely fine,” Mr Franklin said in a statement availed to the Daily Mail on Wednesday.
He said there is need to stimulate healthy demand for leather and ensure there is a consistent supply of quality raw hides to feed into the industry.
“The leather industry has got a huge amount of potential… [although it] is labour-intensive by its nature…It is a potentially huge market for investment,” he said.
He said there is also need to create an environment where local leather products are required and kept within the country.
Commenting on the development, deputy director of livestock development Christine Yambayamba urged Zambians to change their mindset regarding locally-produced products as the quality of local products is as good as some imported ones.

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