SUDAN NAZIK NOURELDIEN OMERMINISTERY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGYDEPARTMENT OF TRANSEFER TECHNOLOGY
The raw material Sudan is endowed with a very large livestock population. The animal herd of Sudan is estimated at about 134.57 million heads, being the largest in Africa and the Middle East. It consists of about 39.76 million cattle, 48.91 million sheep, 42.18 million goats and 3.72 million camels (Ministry of Animal Resources, 2004) )
Based on the quoted figures Sudan rankson the 7th place with respect to cattlepopulation, the 6th place on sheeppopulation and the 4th place on goatpopulation worldwide (FAO, 2001).However, such large stock provides annuallya relatively small quantity of hides and skinsestimated at :
1.7 million bovine hides and 16 million sheepand goat skins. It could be seen that, there isa wide disparity between the livestockpopulation and the hides and skins output.The main reasons for that are : the low off-take of about 6% for bovine lower thanAfrican average 8% and the lack of meetindustry.
It is unfortunate that in Sudan wehave not yet realized that huge anduntapped potential of trade in leather andleather products. These products could playa major role in increasing earning, creationof jobs and alleviation of poverty
As a matter of fact the Sudan hides andskins are characterized by a very fine qualityof its fiber network composition and grainsurface which make it suitable for themanufacture of very expensive articles suchas garments and gloves (FAO, 1991).
However, the hides and skinsproduced in Sudan are of an inferiorquality due to accumulation of surfacedefects which are classified into twocategories, the ante-mortem defectswhich occur during the life of theanimal due to poor animal husbandry,spread of diseases and mechanicaldamage ;
and the post-mortem defects whichtake place during and after flaying dueto lack of equipped slaughter housesand organized supply Collectionsystems and poor preservationmethods. Regrettably, neither controlnor effective remediation has takenplace to improve the situation.
In view of the fact that the quality ofthe raw hide and skin plays a decisive role inthe quality of the produced leather and itsprice constitutes about 50 – 70% of the costof production, the raw material is the mostvaluable and important of the productionelements
Leather and leather goods productionThe modern leather industry started inSudan in 1945 when the first tannery wasestablished in Omdurman. In 1962Khartoum tannery was founded by thegovernment with the help of formerYugoslavia as the biggest modern tannery
The seventies and eighties witnessedthe coming up of a number of private andpublic tanneries of different sizes. Most ofthese tanneries produce an intermediateproducts of a low added value for export,namely Pickle & Wet blue. Few tanneriesproduce finished leather for shoe uppersfrom cattle hides and lining leather fromsheep and goat skins.
By 2004, there are about 26registered tanneries of different sizes.At present 11 units were shut down, 7 unitsare working at about 25%,6 units at about 50% capacity and only 2 tanneries are workingsuccessfully at 75% capacity. According tothe Bank of Sudan statistics the best revenuemade by the leather sector was in 2002 aboutUS$ 32 million.
There are a number of barriers,obstacles, constrains which contribute to theoccurrences of the above gloomy situationsuch as ;poor quality of raw material and low availability due to export of raw hides and skins.lack of training and adequate skills.
poorly equipped tanneries and lack of access to appropriate modern technologylow value addition due to high cost of production aggravated by unnecessary government taxes, custom duties and various local and central government levies.
difficult access to financial resources and lack of direct investment lack of effective market information systems. Environmental degradation.