Secretary of the Zimbabwe Leather Development Council (ZLDC) Tendai Tambudze has said that one of the challenges facing the tanneries in the country is under-capitalisation.
Presenting at the SADC Industrialisation Action Plan Workshop in Harare Tambudze said that many of the tanneries also have antiquated machines.
“Tanneries which are supposed to be the catalysts of industrialisation under-capitalised and many have antiquated machines,” said Tambudze.
The leather industry of Zimbabwe, a country that has 550 000, is operating at around 30 percent of capacity being impeded with availability and cost of electricity to increased capacity utilisation.
The ZLDC secretary said the challenged Zimbabwe leather needs to be able to match quality required by exporters.
“Market for leather is a buyers market driven by quality and raw hide quality. Zimbabwe leather needs to be able to match quality required by exporters,” Tambudze said.
The country is exporting most of its hides and skins raw and, 5440 tonnes including crocodile skins worth US$28 million was exported in 2011. The country recently set up a board for competitiveness to ensure that Zimbabwean products are able to compete internationally.
Zimbabwe’s industrial sector has been meeting a lot of challenges in the country with hundreds of companies closing down last year. About 30-50 thousand cattle are slaughtered per month in abattoirs all over the country. Cattle are one of the main sources of hides in the country.