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Smuggling of raw hides and skins to neighbouring countries through border posts has now escalated at an alarming rate after it was contained at the Dar es Salaam port, a leader of Leather Association of Tanzania (LAT) has said.
Joram Wakari, the LAT Executive Secretary said in an interview that after the government imposed some measures to curb smuggling at the Dar es Salaam port, the incidences had increased to other border posts.
He said statistics showed that the government was losing due to an illegal export of over 60,000 pieces of raw hides and skins.
"After increasing some control measures at the Dar es Salaam port, smugglers were currently using the other border posts to smuggle raw hides and skins," he said.
As it did at the Dar es Salaam port, the government should continue acting strongly on the illegal business on raw hides and skins for the sector to contribute accordingly to economic growth.
He said while the government was struggling to put favourable environment for investors, but few officials putting stumbling block to the efforts by collaborating with some owners of the warehouses in the borders to ensure the illegal business is successful.
"Apart from swindling the much needed government revenues; the malpractice has also been denying the tanneries operating in the country the necessary raw materials, thus cutting down production capacity," he added.
Available statistics put Tanzania in the second place in Africa with the largest population of livestock having potential of producing 3.6 million hides and around 6.1 million skins but surprisingly, almost all tanneries in the country have shelved production due to insufficient raw materials.
Source: Daily News