Market Assessment

EDA Rural Systems in the Leather Subsector, India 2003 (English/French)

    To assess BDS demand and supply in the leather subsector in two rural districts of Rajasthan, EDA Rural Systems interviewed 134 artisans and 50 private and government sector BDS suppliers who were selected based on services provided, operational base, and whether they provided fee-based or subsidized services.

    Twelve villages were selected based on the number of producers, level of impact created by past/ current development interventions, and cost-effectiveness of providing BDS. Random sampling selected artisans based on age, support received - or not - from development programs, type of enterprise (jooti and/or leather goods), and scale of operation. Checklists of questions for both artisans and suppliers were used to conduct in-depth interviews and obtain qualitative and quantitative information. Focus group discussions and market visits helped clarify that information and allowed observation of business transactions and information exchanges between artisans, service providers, and raw material and accessory suppliers. Study findings were based on responses from artisans involved mainly in jooti production though a few respondents were involved in both jooti and leather goods production.

    The cost of the study is estimated to be between $22,000 and $25,000.

    For What's New visitors, the latest addition is the summary in French, below.

    Methods for info gathering
    In-depth interviews, focus group discussions, SE survey, provider survey, qualitative, quantitative

    Summary of results
    Although the rural market for jootis is shrinking due to competition from low-cost, plastic-soled shoes and slippers, the overall market, including exports, offers producers a way to increase their incomes provided they upgrade their skills to design and produce innovative, high quality jootis and to diversify into leather goods.

    The weak BDS market in the sub-sector made it difficult to compare the quality of services and to obtain substantive information on both the scope for commercialisation and the willingness of artisans to pay for individual services.

    The demand assessment revealed that artisans obtained BDS from three types of suppliers' institutions providing subsidized services, commercial suppliers offering embedded or fee-based services, and fellow artisans, relatives, and friends through business or other relationships.

    A limited number of suppliers provide services that enable artisans to add value to their products and state-sponsored programs offer inadequate skills development training. Both have minimal outreach and impact because artisans cannot make efficient and effective use of these services without marketing and input supply information. Embedded input supply services appear to work well and could be packaged with other services such as market links, training, and technical assistance. There is a growing demand for mechanising some activities and for information on the potential uses and benefits of machines. There is also demand for tool and equipment servicing and suitable suppliers, including blacksmiths, could profitably provide the service in villages.

    Though participating artisans preferred specific BDS, they also understood that others were necessary and complementary and did not exclude their use. Some commercial suppliers were reluctant to discuss the situation openly for fear of revealing commercial information to an external agency.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Programme Design
    »Leather Subsector Market Development Design and Piloting, EDA India 2005
    »BDS Market, Leather Sub-sector, India, EDA Rural Systems, 2004