Value addition for competitive commodity trade: a case of value chain of hides and skins in Tanzania

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
The study on value addition, taking the case of value chain of hides and skins in Tanzania, targeted at investigating the challenges facing the value chain of hides and skins as a sub-sector in the country. The original reasoning was that despite many attempts and initiatives carried out at national and international levels to develop the hides and skins sub-sector, particularly in building up and promoting competitive commodity chains over a long period of time, there were limited returns to farmers and to the tanning and leather manufacturing industry generally, in the country. Value chain analysis theory is used in the analysis. The theory assumes the existence production, processing/manufacturing and marketing functions, whose survival and properties are closely tied to the assumption of optimal resource allocation within each stage by the involved actors in primary and support activities as they maximize the returns from such activities. On the basis of this study we provide general evidence, gathered from the literature that is extensively reviewed, and from data analysis done on empirical investigation conducted by the author of this dissertation, in the three/four stages from production to consumption levels through processing and marketing. The assumption of value chain is that successive processing nodes lead to value addition (improved quality and value) for higher economic gains and competitive commodity chains. The case study used here shows limited positive results, especially on the part of the primary producers (mainly farmers and butcher-men who manage their activities traditionally), collectors and traders/tanners whose link into the modern processing industry reflect mainly a buyer-driven value chain through flawed intermediary chains. The chains involve more of wet and dried hides and skins of low quality, and hence, yields at each node of the chains in Tanzania are incomparable and too low to reach commodities in the modern existing. Key policy implications and further research issues are singled out: suggesting some need for more aggressive stance of public support to the sub-sector in both primary and support services (physical infrastructure, extension services, general education and the creation of a conductive environment for a competitive sub-sector), given the comparative advantage that the country has over the numbers of livestock in Africa. Research themes should dig deep into the challenges and opportunities of the sub-sector with views to suggesting positive measures to be taken up at the farm, processing and marketing levels to take advantage of this comparative advantage and enhance competitiveness.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class Mark (THS EAF HD9778.T34M552)
Hides and skins, Value chain analysis
Mlay, J. S (2009) Value addition for competitive commodity trade: a case of value chain of hides and skins in Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam