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Leather is one of the key areas in which KIRDI is mandated to undertake research and development and technology transfer of the technologies so far developed. The division undertakes research and development and disseminates findings in all aspects of leather technology including machinery for leather, tanning processes, quality control and effluent treatment. Research activities in the division are supported by leather physical and chemical testing laboratory located within the institute.

The division’s main objective is create global partnership for industrial development as articulated in MDG 8. It endeavors to implement the entire relevant requirement under the service delivery chatter as well as activities stipulated in the KIRDI strategic plan and aims at improving the performance of the leather sub sector through enhanced market driven research and technological development.

Vision: To become a world class resource centre in Leather tanning technologies.

Mission: To undertake market driven research that offer solutions to the leather industry.

Areas of competencies

Fish Leather Technology: This involves intensive research in collaboration with UNIDO in fish skin utilisation especially on preservation, tanning and product development.

Leather  processing and technologies: Intensive research is on processing and manufacturing processes and improved technologies (through reverse engineering and prototype development) with the aim of improving efficiencies and productivity, as well as value addition and product diversification. The development of the KIRDI’s tanning drum hinges on this technological innovation.

Quality Assurance/Control: This involves laboratory testing and analysis for leather and leather related products so that they can compete nationally and internationally. This helps the tanneries to secure markets for their products since they have access to testing facilities to boost their quality confidence for their clients.

Consultancy: This involves provision of information and skills in areas of competence and expertise. We offer consultancy to KIRDI staff, government and private sector in leather related fields.

Incubation services: This is a process that supports entrepreneurs and start up technology based enterprises in the development, assimilation, absorption, and utilization of requisite technology to accelerate their successful development. Alongside the provision of the technical support, business development support is also provided. In this end the leather division is supporting the Mini tannery concept of establishing mini tanneries in high livestock potential areas of Kenya to add value to hides and skins and boost local employment.

Services and Consultancies

The division carries out the following specialized leather services and consultancies at very competitive fees:

  • Technology Needs Assessment

  • Technology Feasibility Studies

  • Environmental Impact assessments

  • Environmental control

  • Energy audit

  • Process Safety