The tannery is expected to help the ailing leather industry, which has suffered from the export of of raw and semi-processed hides and skins which fetch lower prices than finished leather and leather products.
Bonfide Managing Director, Amos Ngonjo said they were currently conducting a feasibility study to determine the location, capacity and work out the costs of the investment. ‘We have a clear expansion plan for the company. This will be the second indigenous owned tannery, besides the government and foreign ones’, he said during the opening of the company’s new headquarters in Riverside. There are currently around 13 operational tanneries in the country.
The government is in the process of revamping the leather industry in a bid to realise the sector’s full capacity estimated at Sh50-60billion ($600-700 million) annually. A few years ago, it imposed tax on export of raw hides and skins from 20% to 30% which seems to have paid off since currently 80 to 90% of the exported leather is now semi-processed. Total earnings from the leather industry have rose by Sh870 million ($10.1 million) from Sh3.15 billion ($37 million) in 2005 to Sh4.02 billion in 2008 ($47 million).
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