Hide and Skins are important economic products contributing to the largest share of the total and agricultural export commodities followed by live animals in Ethiopia. The current study was conducted with the objective of assessing the major causes of hide and skin defect, quality, and marketing of the raw materials in Adami-Tulu and Bora district. A total of 768 (382 sheep and 220 goat skins and 76 cattle hides) sample was randomly selected and visually examined for defects at the collection centers. Further, 20 apparently health and 20 apparently defective goat skins were selected randomly and tested for physicochemical characteristics including tensile strength/mm², elongation percentage, tear load, thickens (mm), fat content and moisture content at crust stage of processing. A questionnaire survey was also done with 200 respondents to assess the marketing situation of hide and skins in the study areas. Major defects before processing were cockle (36.6%), flay defect (51.6%), scratch (60.7%), scar (26.2%) and putrefaction (17.5%), and brand (0.5%). The proportions of scratch, flay defect and cockle were higher in goat skin, sheep skin and cattle hide, respectively (P<0.05). Both defective and apparently normal goat skins after tanning to wet blue stage have demonstrated different types of defects. Prevalence of cockle, scratch, putrefaction and pox lesion was increased after processing defective skins. None of the skins considered normal were free of defects. However, the appearance of defects such as cockle, scratch, putrefaction and pox lesion was higher in defective than in those considered normal (P<0.05). Grading at wet blue stage revealed that majority of skins in both groups earned grades 3 to 5; there was no grade one. On the other hand, physico-chemical examination (tensile strength, percentage elongation, tear load, moisture, content, etc.) as a reflection of the natural characteristics of goat skin showed that both groups classified defective and normal, had within standard or better performance as compared to the Ethiopian Standard set by the authority. It can be concluded that if the major defects are significantly reduced, access to market and market information is improved. Raw hides and skins in the study areas as reflected from goat skin analysis have outstanding natural characteristics that could make them qualify for better grades in the market.
Key words: Adami-Tulu, Bora, defects, hide and skins, marketing, physico-chemical characteristics.
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