Local Leather manufacturers have been urged to adopt cleaner technologies in line with preserving environment and producing quality leathers.
The call was made by the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) on this Monday, February 5, 2018 while training manufacturers in this sector on Clean technologies for leather manufacturing.
However the production of leather is still low, NIRDA Director General Kampeta Sayinzoga said that manufacturers should adopt cleaner technologies which will help in preserving environment.
“We hope the production of leather and meet will be increased in coming days, when the production is not increased , today we want to partner in preserving environment without excessive cost, it is possible to make it happen,” said Kampeta.
Kampeta said that the government wishes that manufacturers know the value chain in which they are working in as it helps explain the status of the business using the key value chain technologies.
She further said that the country targets to produce 100,000 leathers per year, unless it will take the process, but assured that this will be possible in partnership with the private sector.
“Today there are challenges hampering to achieve this target, but our responsibilities is to help you with needed skills, it will help us reduce pollution and treatment cost,” said Kampeta.
Dr George Nyombaire, the head of research and development coordination Department at NIRDA said that all investors in leather value chain will be equipped with the skills to process leather without destroying environment.
“We want also to ensure that workers in this sector are protected as most of the times use chemicals that have toxic substances which can undermine their health, in a bid to avoid such consequences, we must call up on such factories and give them skills about the best use of cleaner technologies,” said Nyombaire.
Dr.Nyombaire also said that the cleaner technologies will help manufactures to gain more income as sometimes they can lose due to poor quality leathers as the result of lack of skills in Leather cleaner technologies.
“There are various technologies they can use with measured water and chemicals, which in return give good income due to quality finished leader,” he said.
Nyombaire said that there is no leather factory in Rwanda that fits the quality standards, which is still a challenge.
“There is no one I can say has quality standards as we find they have some shortages while at the inspection,” he said.
He said that NIRDA is planning to equip local manufacturers with outside workshops in the countries that succeeded in Cleaner Leather technologies like China, India and Ethiopia to learn from them.
NIRDA with its stakeholders has a plan of improving Rwandan ternaries performance in line with International practices related to productivity, cleaner production technology i.e installation of effluents treatment plant, quality and cost competitiveness.
Germaine Mukashyaka, Chairperson of Leather value chain in Rwanda is currently working with four associations and one cooperative in leather processing including leather exporters and local leather collectors.
She said some of the challenges include lack of enough factories that process leathers up to the final level, apart from one of ‘Kigali leather limited’.
“The first challenge is that in Rwanda we do not have factories processing leathers at the final phase, another one is lack of raw materials that manufacturers still import because we do not have them in Rwanda,” said Mukashyaka.
Currently, the government is building a leather industrial park in Bugesera to process leathers. By the time the park will be complete, investors will be able to establish the factories that respect environment protection (without toxic chemicals) according to Mukashyaka.
The cleaner leather technologies have also to fit with the waste management and water recycling within the leather factories.
By Elias Hakizimana @theinspirerpubl