Some 7.6 million USD was obtained from export trade in the first quarter of the current Ethiopian year, the Leather and Leather Products Industry Research and Development Center said.
Speaking to the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA), Center Manager Mohammed Hussein said that the sum was secured from finished and semi-finished leather shoes, baggage, leather gloves and other products exported to the global market. China, India, U.S. and Italy are the primary destinations for Ethiopian exports.
“Tough it is promising; the performance in the reported period was below the plan due to various challenges that have been impacting the leather industry.”
According to the manager, low level of technological penetration, price fluctuation in the world leather market, limited raw leather collecting capacity and the factories’ production reduction are among the major challenges in the leather industry. Limited transport access and inept market linkage and shortage of input supply are also highly contributed to the low production and productivity of the leather sector.
To overcome such challenges, 10-year short, medium and long-term leather development strategies are formulated covering 2023/24 to 2033/34.
Mohammed further highlighted that the plan set to expand local market utilization; substitute imported chemicals and increase leather products in destination countries to address the problems under the auspices of the strategies.
In addition, the center is working in collaboration with various stakeholders to ease the post-slaughtering problems, raising the supply of salt used for tanning leather as well as building the public’s awareness.
“We are working to attract sustainable investment, improve technology utilization as well as draw important lessons from countries which have registered remarkable outcomes in the leather sector.”
Tapping the huge potential of the leather industry requires the combined effort of all relevant actors and is highly interlinked with agriculture, industry, environmental protection, and import and export trade policies, he emphasized.