Malawi’s efforts to grow its leather industry continue to suffer setbacks due to lack of capacity to add value to products.
According to a research by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (Smedi), Malawi loses almost K5 billion annually in the leather industry due to lack of proper processing machinery to add value to local leather products.
However, industrial and development officer in the Ministry of Trade Industry and Tourism Yasin Mwachande in an interview said to solve the challenges there are now various interventions that government, through the ministry, is putting in place to promote value addition to leather.
Currently, Malawi uses over $101 million (about K70 billion) to import leather-related products into the country.
In a separate interview, Smedi’s public relations officer Mian Mpesi explained that a vibrant leather sector would benefit various players ranging from the cattle farmers and processers to manufactures.
“A vibrant leather sector would mean over 100 small and medium enterprises [SMEs] can directly get involved in leather trade,” she said.