Michael Tome and Malvern Mugadzikwa
Zimbabwe’s agro-industrial businesses should source at least 40 percent of their annual requirements through contract farming, joint ventures and corporate farming, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said yesterday.
Addressing delegates at the just ended Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) congress in Harare , the Vice President was pleased that the private sector was collaborating well in pressing ahead with the creation of value chains but urged industrialists to keep moving forward and occupy more critical spaces needed to push the economy forward.
The CZI, which represents a large proportion of the formal industrial sector, held its annual congress from Wednesday to yesterday, under the theme, Upper middle-income industry for an upper middle-income economy — A time for industrial transformation
VP Chiwenga urged the industry players to stretch their assistance to farmers in order to develop downstream value chains thus benefiting primary producers of the economy.
“It is pleasing to note that the private sector is collaborating well in developing and implementing various value chains, including pharmaceuticals, leather and dairy among others for sustainable socio economic transformation of the economy.
“The country is geared towards a private sector led economic growth, that should propel the country towards the vision of becoming a prosperous and empowered upper middle income society by 2030,” said VP Chiwenga.
He called on the industry not to develop a wait and see attitude with the government but to take charge and occupy some of the critical spaces needed to propel the country’s economy. “There is no longer us and them. Let us bring the issues affecting us on the table and put our minds together. We need to bring synergies in the industry and go beyond our borders.
“We need to know what is needed to retool our industry. Human resources technology tools alone cannot work without human resources. We call all stakeholders in Zimbabwe to reach our developmental agenda.
The Second Republic sees the private sector as the engine of growth with the Government providing the environment and ensuring the required infrastructure is put in place.
“We therefore need to have synergies with institutions of higher learning and invest in research and development,” said VP Chiwenga. The agriculture sector, which is one of the significant producers of food raw materials, was on the rebound this year increasing its productivity capacity by 34 percent mainly hinged by maize production.