Leather Technology Mission (LTM)

Leather Technology Mission

A Mission mode programme was launched on 12 January 1995 with CSIR as the implementing institution. The Leather Technology Mission (LTM) aimed at development of a technology driven development grid integrating the needs of the decentralized as well as organized sectors. LTM is one of the first Missions implemented directly by a scientific institution. The technology proving phase of LTM implemented over a four year time frame has made tangible and traceable impact with the commissioning of 170 activities in 17 States.
The management approach for project implementation included identification of areas of technology support (chosen technologies for referencing to social context); modes and mechanisms for technology delivery and implementation; establishment of linkages, networks with agencies (NGO’s, industry/industry association, academia, user Ministers, KVIC, State Government agencies) for ensuring sustainability of outputs delivered; monitoring of outputs through Peer review and third party audit.

Major technology initiatives through LTM included resource augmentation efforts through establishment of fallen carcass recovery centers at various locations in the country; animal health care systems aimed at providing better quality skins for the leather sector;engineering inputs through development of prototypes; design engineering packages for establishment of leather complexes; implementation of cleaner technologies viz. less salt curing techniques, ammonia free deliming, better chrome management, chrome recovery and reuse systems, process control systems. Innovations in human resource development activities have been made to enable skill upgradation of grass root level personnel thus facilitating reaching the unreached segment of the leather sector. New technology initiatives included chemo autotropic wet air oxidation method and biomethanation.

Some of the major outputs of LTM were

Fallen Carcass Recovery Units

Low cost and viable fallen carcass centers designed and developed by CLRI has been propagated. 25 centres have been upgraded at various locations in the country (Fig 2). Bankability has been established for processing capacity of 4 animals/day. The technology has been referenced to the social context. A case for propagation phase has been made.

Kallupatti (TN) Kalyani WB)Sehore , Rajgarh, Hoshangabad, Gwalior (MP) Tranaja , Bardoli, Mehsana (Guj) Mysore, Bangalore, Bijapur (Kar) Madhepur (Bih) Aurangabad (Mah) Mandi (HP) Rohtak (Har) Tripura (NE) Masawanpur, (UP) Udaipur, Naseerabad, Dudu (Raj) Srikakulam, Bhodan, Mangalagiri (AP) Howrah (WB)

Wide scale technology diffusion of cleaner production methods including cleaner preservation, mechanical/manual desalting, enzyme assisted dehairing, salt less pickling, chrome recovery/reuse and better management of chromium in tannery clusters in Tamil Nadu/Uttar Pradesh/Punjab has been possible. Microprocessor controlled wet operations have been introduced in Tanneries in UP, Haryana, TN, AP. Six CETP/ETP demonstration units have been established for environmental sustainability.
More than 250 tanneries throughout the country have benefited. Benefits accrued are reduction in BOD/COD by 35%, sulfide reduction by 50%, 20% reduction in hydraulic load, 25-30% reduction in TDS levels in tannery waste water

Human Resource Development

Artisanal training programmes, Reaching unreached through pedagogy innovations are some of the unique initiatives taken up under LTM. Establishment of 16 training centres for leather products for creating a wider training base for the country has been targeted and achieved.

Traditional footwear workers from Chennai and Guntur have been trained in modern methods of footwear manufacture. Potentials of such programmes help arresting migration of traditional artisans to other vocations have been recognized. Follow-up with Common Facility Centres at Guntur and Chennai has led to sustainability of the training with traditional footwear artisans making 300 pairs/day

75 Women of Malavanthangal have been trained in shoe upper making. Market link has been established with Pond's India Ltd. for sale of products

Training of tribals of Bastar district, MP has resulted in improved collection of vegetable tannin materials. About 4000 tribals in Bastar district have been trained in collection and processing of vegetable tannin material. A plan to attract private sector investment for establishment of a complex for downstream processing of vegetable tannins has been drawn up

Audio Visual aids have been prepared aimed at educating grass root level personnel in correct methods of operations/processing. 15 Process/Quality Manuals have been prepared under LTM

Technology campaign at Athani, Karnataka: Reaching artisanal sector:

Manufacture of Kolhapuri chappals from bag-tanned leather is a traditional occupation of artisans in the Athani-Miraj-Nippani belt of Maharashtra and Karnataka. It has assumed high socio-economic value with hundreds of families being involved in the cottage sector. Over 1200 families are involved in this ethnic footwear manufacture. The leather for the footwear is sourced locally. The leather made locally through bag tanning suffers quality as well as productivity problems. The tanning process is traditional and in some cases inefficient. Technology addition to this sector has made significant socio-economic impact. Under the Leather Technology Mission, CLRI successfully demonstrated improved process of bag tanning to the artisans with the following advantages.

  • Reduction in process time from 35 days to 15 days
  • Uniformity of product and improvement of quality
  • Reduction in volume structure of leather on wetting-drying cycle
  • ~30% higher yield
  • Ease of adaptability
  • This process has been demonstrated to 30 tanners who have received the process with enthusiasm.

Consolidation phase of LTM

A consolidation phase of LTM has been launched to facilitate assessment of outputs delivered under LTM and for selection of specific outputs for propagation. Feed back from beneficiaries has been gained on benefits accrued. Experience sharing from successful examples has led to technical Interventions/improvisations where necessary. Counterpart support and enthusiasm has been gained. Successful models have been documented in terms of technical and social innovations

Vision Beyond Mission

LTM has been a successful Mission mode programme of the Nation. Lessons have been learnt and experience gained in the technology proving phase of LTM. Decisions for propagation of successful outputs of LTM have been taken and need for a propagation phase of LTM has been identified. A Vision Beyond Mission has been developed with the help of more than 75 experts. A Macro Plan for Indian Sector has been prepared. Leather Vision 2010 for Indian leather industry takes into account changes in the new millennium, challenges in the global environment & market and identifies the Need for a Brown Revolution for leather in India.