L-R:Ensda Chairman Selela Mwanik,Devolution PS Irungu Nyakera being shown around the Sh700MillionTannery and leather processing factory at Ewuaso Nyiro in Narok South.The factory constructed by government agency Ewaso Ng’iro South Development Authority(ensda) is set to boost export earnings from leather from Sh1.8 billion to Sh4 billion annually. PHOTO by ROBERT KIPLAGAT
The Government is set to build a Sh700 million tannery and leather processing factory in the county.
This will be a major boost for pastoralists who have been selling the products at throw-away prices due to lack of such a facility.
The livestock keepers have been selling the products for as low as Sh120 for hides while sheep and goat skins have been going for between Sh20 and Sh30.
However, things are expected to change for the better when the processing plant is set up at Ewuaso Nyiro area in Narok South sub-county.
The project, being undertaken by the Ewuaso Ng’iro South Development Authority (ENSDA), is expected to boost exports from Sh4 billion to Sh10 billion per year after value addition.
ENSDA managing director Sammy Leporos said the factory would have the capacity to process over 10,000 tonnes of hides and skins per day.
“It will be the game changer in livestock byproducts, which had been overlooked for years,” Lepros said yesterday.
“Narok and Kajiado counties are pastoralist areas and the economic mainstay here is livestock keeping. With this factory, pastoralists will be the biggest winners,” said Leporos.
He said hides and skins would fetch up to ten times the current price, thanks to value addition. “The hides, which are currently selling at Sh120, will bring farmers between Sh1,500 and Sh2,000 while prices of skins will go up to between Sh200 and Sh300, depending on the quality,” said Lepros.
The factory will largely depend on the more than 10 abattoirs across the county for hides and skins and will create about 1,000 jobs.
The MD also revealed that they would be registering youth and women cooperatives to be in-charge of hides and skins collection and delivery to the factory that is set to be commissioned in the next three months.
Devolution Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera said the country had been exporting semi-processed leather over the years, earning it about Sh1.8 billion.
“However, with the leather factory, the country is projected to make up to Sh4 billion from leather exports,” said the PS.
The PS who spoke when he launched the project said the factory would be boosted by the recently-launched Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), which would make transportation of the products easy.
“Since the second phase of SGR will be passing through Narok, it means transporting of the products to Nairobi and Mombasa will be made easier,” said Nyakera.
He said the Government would set up other factories to facilitate value addition to other products, including mangoes and bamboo to boost export earnings.
ENSDA chairman Selela Mwanik called on the pastoral community to stop putting burn marks on the livestock, saying the practice destroys the hides and skins. The cattle keepers have been doing this as a way of identifying the animals.
“I know it is our culture to put unique marks on our livestock for identification using a hot rod but from now onward, desist from it because the product should be of high quality,” said Mwanik.