The High Nutritional Value of Ponmo and Export Potential of Nigerian Leather

Consumer Goods, Industries, Spotlight shows that locally or internationally, let market forces determine where to sell Nigerian hides the local market will have the upper hand
Nigeria has the largest resource of goatskin and kidskin in Africa representing 46% and 18% of the total in West Africa and Africa, respectively

Banning leather consumption

Sequel to a proposal by the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST) for a ban on the consumption of animal skin known locally as ponmo, there has been a nationwide verbal fightback by local consumers and traders of the commodity. Many have argued that banning ponmo consumption in the country would help to revive Nigeria’s comatose leather industry.

He stated that the habit of eating animal skin, which has no nutritional value, should be stopped to save the industry and boost the nation’s economy.

Why do some Nigerians consume animal hides?
There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigerians’ appetite for animal hides has limited the country’s ability to produce and export leather. Consequently, Nigeria is losing millions of dollars in potential export earnings. This begs the question – why do Nigerians prefer to eat their animal hides?

Well, there are several reasons why. For one, animal hides appeal to a sizable percentage of the population whose purchasing power has been on a steady decline due to high inflation and other negative macroeconomic factors.

Also, some people consume animal hides because of their supposed health benefits. Contrary to popular belief that animal hides have no health benefits, some health experts consider them a healthy alternative to beef. For example, 100g of boiled thick cow skin contains about 224.65kcal of energy, 6.80g of carbohydrate, about 43.9g of water, 46.9g of protein, 1.09g of fat, and 0.02g of fibre. It also contains small amounts of calcium (61mg), iron (4.3mg), magnesium (12mg), phosphorus (36mg), and Zinc (6.79mg).

Local consumption of ponmo versus leather exports
Although there are only scanty up-to-date data available, the value of animal hides produced in Nigeria (both locally consumed and exported) was estimated at $3 billion, according to BusinessDay.

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