Making more from goat hides
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CTA. 2006. Making more from goat hides. Rural Radio Resource Pack 06/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57241
Value of goat hides, protecting goat hides from damage, good storage, and the importance of processing rather than exporting raw hides.
Making more from goat hides Cue: The hide or skin of a goat may be small, compared with cattle, but they can still be a valuable source of income to farmers. Typically they can earn around 10 per cent of the total value of a goat, but farmers can ensure they earn a better price through good management of the animal while it is alive, and by taking care in slaughtering and curing processes. In Malawi, the government has established a project to improve the income that farmers can earn from their livestock skins and hides. Dr Grey Matita is the national project coordinator, and he spoke to Excello Zidana about what farmers can do to get more benefits from their goat hides. He began by suggesting that good care of the live animal, including good feeding and health care, was the first step to a better quality hide. IN: ?If you have got an animal that is well fed ? OUT: ?instead of indulging in export of raw hides and skins..? DUR?N 4?34? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Dr Grey Matita describing progress in the processing of goat hides in Malawi. The interview comes from a radio resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Matita If you have got an animal that is well fed in a good state of nutrition without diseases, we are talking about a very good raw commodity, the skin that comes from these goats. So it is worth investing in good animal husbandry so that we have got very good hides and skins produced from these animals. Zidana Going around villages in this part of Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and even Kenya and Tanzania you would not definitely find people using goat skins as mats. Don?t they know that there is a market somewhere? Matita That is exactly our core function with the Commercialisation of Hides and Skins project. We want to create awareness on the commercial value of hides and skins especially from the smallholder farming sector, from the rural sector. You are right that some of these hides or skins are just thrown away, some of them are consumed, some of them are turned into mats some of them are turned into drums, some of them turn into furniture but the real commercial value of hides and skins is in the production of a good quality raw product that is going to be transformed or processed into leather and leather is a high value commodity. So what we are saying in the project is, let?s not throw away these hides and skins, let?s recover them. And then also we are intervening in the quality issues of the hides and skins. Flaying is very very crucial. We want our flayers and butcher men to skin these animals properly so that we do not damage them because if we have good quality material coming from Malawi we will enhance the image of our hides and skins and that earns us a lot of foreign exchange. Even at domestic level farmers can earn very good livelihood from hides and skins. So the message is loud and clear from me, nobody should ever ever throw away a hide or skin and the market, the domestic market for hides and skins is there. Zidana Are there any special types of houses for goats to make sure that they produce high quality skins? I am looking at barbed wire kholas? Matita Yes Mr Zidana, not only for goats but also for other classes of livestock, even for cattle. What we are advising farmers or the message is let?s put up kholas that do not have barbed wires or any other things, sharp instruments that can cause scratches on the skins or hides of our animals because these scratches affect the quality of the skin or the hide. Remember a good quality hide or skin starts from the animal, the live animal. So very basic good animal husbandry, good housing, good nutrition is key to good production of quality hide and skin. You will see that this will be translated all along the value chain to the finished leather. If you start with a poor animal the finished leather will also be very poor. So we are saying along the value chain we must do things properly. Good animal husbandry from the field, very good slaughterhouse operations at killing, good curing of the hide and skin when we have removed it from the animal, good transportation and good storage. Storage is very very important because if you do not store them using an insecticide like actellic they get eaten by beetles. So we want to keep these insects away from our raw material so that when we sell it to the international market or to the domestic market we are presenting a good quality material that is going to fetch good money for us. Zidana And lastly I remember one time I found somebody, this should be a Tanzanian, he was carrying bundles and bundles of goat skins and he was heading for Tanzania. Does this show that there is no market in Malawi for goat skins? Matita Well that is a very true observation. We are aware of this problem in the Ministry of Trade and Private Sector Development on how to tackle this. We are also discussing this with other key stakeholders like in the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development with our butcher men and with our collectors and sooner or later we will come up with a mechanism to bring down the flight of Malawi?s raw material into neighbouring countries because as I can confirm with you Mr Zidana we have now a local tannery in this country, Liwonde Tannery that has started processing raw hides and skins into a stage and it is a middle stage called wet blue, so that we can export at least a value added product instead of exporting to the international market or domestic market bulky raw hides and skins. So we want to put up policies that are going to encourage processing of our raw material instead of indulging in export of raw hides and skins. End of track.