Pakistan is considered as a hub for production of high quality leather and leather products and about 800 tanneries in the country are actively engaged in producing the finest quality leather of cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats.
Pakistan is rich in agricultural products and has a large livestock population which plays an important role in the economy of Pakistan by producing around 13.0 Million Hides and 47.4 Million Skins per annum (2015-16). The type of sheep skins we have in Pakistan is better in respect of grain, substance and compactness of fibers.
Pakistan is an Islamic republic democrat country having unofficial population count approx. 220 millions. All Muslims celebrate Eid Qurban occasion once a year, when they slaughter/sacrifice minimum one of the animals from Cow, Buffalo, Goat and Sheep that day following the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim. Every muslim has a yearning desire to sacrifice most beautiful and healthy animal on that day. Due to this collective sacrificial slaughtering of animals on such a large scale, massive amounts of animal hide are easily and readily available that tanneries can buy. About 60% – 80% of total raw material requirement is fulfilled every year this way.
A Quick Look on History
At the time of independence there were only a few tanneries producing sole leather and that too at a very small scale.
- In the early days of independence some tanneries were established in Karachi
- In 1950’s some were established in Lahore and adjoining areas.
- The 1960’s saw the installation of more units in other parts of the country like Multan, Sahiwal, Kasur, Gujranwala and Sialkot. These units were well-equipped with the latest and modern facilities. More advanced units were established in the 1970’s and Pakistan started production of finished leather.
- The era of 1980’s saw a period of improved quality production.
- In 1990 the leather sector jumped to become the second largest foreign exchange earner for the country by contributing 10.41 percent toward the total export revenue.
- During July-November 2015-16, the leather exports of Pakistan faced a decline of 27 percent while India, which exported 43 percent more leather garments, witnessed 27 percent increase in its leather exports during the same period.