Smuggling Tanzanian raw hides and skins through porous border posts is escalating at an alarming rate after it was contained at the Dar es Salaam port, says a leader of Leather Association of Tanzania (LAT).
Mr Joram Wakari, the LAT executive secretary told the 'Daily News' that after the government imposed measures to curb smuggling at the Dar es Salaam port, the incidences dispersed to other border posts.
He mentioned that statistics show the government was losing out over illegal exports of more than 60,000 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. "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."
Based on available statistics, Tanzania is in second place in Africa with the largest population of livestock with the potential to produce 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.