Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Christopher Mugaga says the Ministry of Industry and Commerce must work together with the Ministry of Agriculture to improve the economy of Zimbabwe as 60% of the manufacturing sector in Zimbabwe is based on Agro processing.
He said this in Harare yesterday on a side interview after a meeting of Agro Processing Business Forum Programme which was attended by Minister of Industry and Commerce Hon. Dr. Sekai Nzenza, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Settlement Hon. Dr. Anxious Masuka, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Hon. Rajeshkumar Modi, Permanent Secretary for Industry and Commerce Dr Mavis Sibanda and Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Settlement Hon Vangelis Haritatos.
The Chief Economist said, “Minister of Industry and Commerce as well as Minister of Agriculture were part of this whole event. If you look at the Industry in Zimbabwe especially the manufacturing sector you will realize that almost 60% of the manufacturing sector in Zimbabwe is Agro processing and that alone will tell you that these two Ministries need to be so coherent, they need to work together and we don’t certainly need any hope in terms of their coordination.” said Mugaga.
The Economic Analyst also said that the Agricultural sector targets adequate food in 2024 adding that these improvements will ensure that forex outlook will be under control while insisting that chances of forex problems will be a problem of the past.
“l think the targets especially from agriculture in terms of food sufficiency in 2024 speaks for itself that the forex outlook is under control and chances are very high that in the medium term grappling challenges of forex will have been solved by the government but it involves a lot of effort and hand working.” He said.
Mugaga also touched on the issue of water challenges, which he said is affecting the business because most businesses are now being conducted on a household level in suburbs where water is scarce.
“In terms of water l think its not only the cost. It’s water cost and also water availability because once water is unavailable it’s prices technically have to go up, so the issue of water availability is a serious issue for us in business as it is now even coming to compete with the energy challenges. For years it has been energy challenges but now if you look closely you see water is much more in scarcity than even energy and business is feeling the impact not only big businesses but even small ones because if you look nowadays most business are household and they are operating from the suburban areas.” he said.
He also said that they have engaged the authorities in order to tackle the challenges of water shortages and they expect a change which will ensure that business will flourish without obstacles.
‘We have been engaging the authorities on the water issue l think Bulawayo already have a meeting on that and we are even bringing the mineral structures to some of these institutions, the water crisis we are experiencing at the moment everyone knows it requires a revision of infrastructure revamp because most of the pipes are old and we just hope they will be progress in terms of investment in infrastructure development.”
Christopher Mugaga is an economic analyst, the founder of Econometer Global Capital and CEO of Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce.