A group of men come out with bamboo baskets to take away the fresh rawhide from the vehicle. Inside the factory, the mood is grim. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the tanners have bought a very limited amount of rawhide.
Last year, many rawhide traders had to throw away their stock because tanners refused to pay the price set by the government. This year, the government reduced the prices, however, the tanners are still reluctant to buy for a myriad of reasons. As a result, in Chattogram, many traders had to throw away their rawhides this year as well.
Inside the factories, only a handful of labours are toiling day and night with the fresh animal skin. The tannery owners have cut on labour costs too. Those who have been retained have not been paid for months.
The price drop for rawhide has been blamed on the decline of export of leather and leather-related goods.
More than half of the rawhide collected throughout the year comes from Eid-ul-Adha. However, sellers have not been getting a good price for leather for several years now. After buying skins, many wholesalers have been sitting on their stock for a long time.
The leather industry's failure to ensure environmental standards, exemplified by the destruction of Buriganga River earlier and Dhaleswari River at present, has contributed to its loss in exports, as international buyers set higher environmental standards of the purchase of leather.