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Zimbabwe: Government To Prioritize The Benefits Of Minerals And Agric Products

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The Government says value addition and beneficiation of agriculture and mineral commodities would be the most important part of its policy framework next year as the country seeks to grow exports from the secondary sector.

This would help the country mobilize investments and create employment.

According to the Treasury, various strategies will be implemented to attain growth of valued added exports, with the Government targeting nearly US$1,4 billion by 2025, from about US$730 million in 2020.

“Priority for the 2022 National Budget will be value addition and beneficiation of agriculture and minerals,” said Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube.

“This will be achieved through developing and strengthening already existing value chains, beneficiation of minerals, and linkage of SMEs with large corporates.”

Last week, the Government banned raw chrome exports to encourage the building of smelters.

Announcing the latest strategy to boost the mining sector during a post Cabinet media briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, said the moratorium on raw chrome ore exports would promote the local value-addition chain.

Other quick win value chains being prioritized include agro-based value chain, pharmaceutical value chain, bus, and truck assembly value chain, iron and steel and general engineering value chain, as well as plastic waste value chain, said Minister Ncube.

The revival of pharmaceutical value was important to boost the local production and exports of medicines into the region and beyond.

Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic had brought to light the weaknesses in the vaccines and medicines supply chain, hence the need for African countries to be self-sufficient in vaccines and medicines due to risks that may arise from border closures.

The Government would also prioritize the leather value chain through increased production capacities from about 30 percent to 75 percent to enable the sector to access local and export markets in line with the Zimbabwe Leather Strategy (2021-2030).

The 2022 National Budget will also prioritise the strengthening of local agro-processing value chains, existing processing capacity, and increase throughput from agriculture.

The agro-value chains identified are soya bean, fertilizer, cotton, sugar, dairy, and leather.

“Furthermore, policy measures will be implemented to encourage and incentivize local producers of agro-inputs and local manufacturers,” said Minister Ncube.

The government will also expedite the implementation of reforms aimed at streamlining and simplifying exporting and importing procedures, eliminating customs delays, and improving customs administration.

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