Small scale players in the leather industry have sent an sos (save our soul) for support to revive the industry by re-opening and retooling tanneries.

As the country moves towards reviving the leather industry which used to employ more than 25 000 people, small scale leather manufacturers have called for government support through funding and increased number of tanneries around the country.

Leather manufacturers in Chiredzi said they have the capacity to produce quality products to supply big companies and even export but lack funding and unavailability of processed hides locally is hindering their efforts.

Statistics by the Leather Institute of Zimbabwe show that the leather industry used to employ 25 000 people producing about 18 million pairs of shoes.

Bulawayo was the biggest producer and currently production seats at a paltry 1.8 million pairs.

The command livestock programme and the proposed revival of the Cold Storage Company are measures hoped to also spur the leather industry.