Mpanda. There is huge business opportunity in the processing of hides, most of which are currently discarded due to lack of processing plants.
Livestock dealers in central and western regions are reportedly losing billions of money in the wasted animal products, which they cannot sell.
Mpanda-based livestock dealer Fadhili Makororo has decried the absence of processing facilities for hides, saying he loses between Sh600,000 and Sh800,000 daily in the wasted hides, translating into between Sh18 million and Sh24 million, monthly.
“I averagely slaughter 10 cattle, which produce between 300 and 400 kilogrammes of hides daily,” Mr Makororo said here recently, giving Sh2,000 per kilogramme as the latest prevailing market price for the raw materials.
“Unfortunately, there are no buyers and we are compelled to throw away all the cowhides, losing billions of shillings,” complained the Mpanda-based entrepreneur and beneficiary of the Private Agricultural Sector Support (Pass) guaranteed credit facilities.
Assuming 500 cattle are daily slaughtered in Katavi, it means the region loses between Sh900 million and Sh1.2 billion, monthly.
He says he started with a Sh20 million Pass guaranteed loan from CRDB Bank in 2011 and has increased his business to qualify for the Sh750 million loan last year. “I highly appreciate Pass, which has economically liberated me.” He says before signing for a Pass guarantee, the bank could hardly lend him Sh20 million and his business remained low, employing only six persons. “But, today my business has expanded, with 60 people in my payroll.”
Mr Makororo who buys and fattens cattle for resale and slaughter has expanded his business to 1,000 cattle from the previous animals that ranged between 80 and 100.
Pass Western Zone manager Faustine Mungo, responding to concerns over the hide processing plant, advised entrepreneurs to organise themselves and invest in the facility, which does not cost much. “You can start with a medium facility that goes for about $100,000 (about Sh223 million) but once you have installed it, you will mint money by producing a lot of highly priced leather products,” he said, signaling the trust’s willingness to guarantee the loan should the demand arise.