The East African Hide and Skin Survey

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skykes, R. L.
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It is nearly ten years since French [I, 2, 3], writing in this JOURNAL gave a very adequate description of the East African hides and skins trade, and a review of the factors which affect the quality of the products and therefore the value of the trade as a whole. Since that time many developments have taken place, and the value of the trade has increased to approximately £4,000,000 per annum, the latter figure being the average over the last four years. Apart from the expansion of the trade in relation to overseas markets, many other developments have taken place within East Africa. The extension of the Hide Improvement Services run by the territorial Veterinary Departments has done much to improve the quality and handling of the raw stock. In addition, the East African Hides, Tanning and Allied Industries Bureau, a High Commission Department, has helped to co-ordinate the activities of the three Governments and to maintain satisfactory relations with the hides and skins trade. A section of its activities is the development of the E.A. hides and skins survey which is the subject of the present article. The survey, part of a projected port. examination service, was commenced on a small scale in 1951 and gradually extended until it covered all three territories by the end of 1952. 1953 was therefore the first full year in which the survey was working throughout the mainland territories of East Africa, and during the year over a quarter of a million hides and skins were examined. Figures showing the proportion of total exports examined are shown in Table L with the gradual extension of the service a number of variations were found in the day-to-day working in regard to the different approaches made by the Hide Examiners who carry out this survey. During the early part of 1953 some modifications were made in the way in which the Examiners reported the results of their work, mainly with a view to standardization. These modifications have done much to increase the value of the survey as a whole and to make the information contained in it more reliable.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 20 (2), p. 77-83