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Aug 12, 2019

Leather Tanning, a Value Adding Process for Farmers

Andrew Mejia

The three-day sheep management workshop will also feature a day of leather tanning. Many may not know, but there is a leather cooperative out west. Its members, who are primarily farmers, are making use of the skin from cattle to generate additional income.  It’s a process that takes up to eight days, but can significantly reduce the importation of leather products in Belize. As it currently stands, Belize imports around thirteen point nine million dollars worth of leather products, majority from China in the form of belts, shoes, wallets and bags.  The idea is that if leather can be produced on a greater scale locally, these items can be made in Belize.

 

Andrew Mejia, National Focal Point, Sheep Development, Ministry of Agriculture

“It’s a value adding process. Usually when the farmers would slaughter the animals they would just dash that away, usually just thrown away. So they are going to learn now that you do slaughtering, you can make money from that specific commodity. You can do the tanning and you can actually generate income. So it is important for them to learn it; majority of them are excited about that aspect of the training because they are going to learn how to make a little bit more money from their product.”

 

Patricio Molina

Patricio Molina, Member, Western Leather Cooperative

“Dah wah good product and an economy for the country cause we don’t have to buy leather from other country; we can make it. We have lot of leather here in Belize we just have to know how to tan it.”

 

Duane Moody

“Talk to us about that. How do you make leather?”

 

Patricio Molina

“You have two types of leather. You have the vegetable tanning, which is this one. You have the chrome salt and that’s a different type of leather.”

 

Duane Moody

“How much would you say one of these go for?”

 

Patricio Molina

“About thirty-five dollars. We sell them for thirty-five right here in Belize because you have people that do sling bags, wallets, belts, sandals. You can do a lot of things from [there].”


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