More support to key value chains
FINANCE, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has pledged to increase support towards productive value chains, as the Government seeks ways to transform the economy from an exporter of primary commodities to a producer of higher value goods.
The value chains fall under key sectors that include agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and tourism.
Presenting his 2024 National Budget statement at the new Parliament building in Mt Hampden yesterday, Minister Ncube said the transformation of primary products into processed and complex products through value addition was the linchpin of the envisaged National Development Strategy (NDS 1) industrial transformation strategy.
According to the minister, the Government will continue to support the mining sector, propelling it to realise the target of 7,6 percent growth in 2024 driven by ongoing investment in PGMs, gold, coal, and lithium.
A total of $132,7 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to implement the legislative and administrative reforms that provide a conducive environment for mining and beneficiation.
Zimbabwe’s mining sector is of strategic importance to the economy given that it generates more than 80 percent of exports, accounts for 12 percent of the gross domestic product, and employs thousands across the economy.
Minister Ncube said the sector was expected to maintain growth momentum in the medium-term estimated at 4,9 percent and 4,8 percent in 2025 and 2026, respectively.
“Government’s thrust is to upscale beneficiation along the mining value chains to facilitate job creation across the chain, through the development of a comprehensive policy framework that prohibits the export of raw minerals.
“The framework will be developed under the auspices of the Minerals Development Policy, Beneficiation and Value Addition Policy, and the Artisanal Miners Strategy,” said Minister Ncube.
He said the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development made tremendous progress in 2023 and the country had achieved national food security through its agriculture support model.
The Treasury chief further highlighted that success had been realised in increased domestic production of strategic crops with the country making significant progress towards meeting national requirements for grain.
The achievements place the country on-track to sustainably achieve food security, self-sufficiency, as well as nutrition security by 2025, in line with NDS1 targets
“During the first half of NDS1 implementation, Government has made progress in revitalising production, specifically in agriculture …this development has guaranteed the country’s food security and enhanced foreign currency generation.
“Going forward into 2024, the thrust is on consolidating the gains achieved so far by firming up production, whilst taking further steps to enhance productivity in the sector to reduce cost of production, thereby making agricultural production more competitive,” said Minister Ncube.
To that end, $4,3 trillion has been allocated to the ministry of agriculture to spearhead the implementation of the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy and other value addition initiatives.
The tourism segment will carry on benefiting from the US$7,5 million Tourism Facilities Services Development and Upgrading Revolving Fund (TFDURF) which was disbursed through the SDRs in 2022,
The fund was meant to resuscitate companies in the tourism sector mainly those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and US$1,2 million of the fund has been disbursed hitherto.
To spearhead the intended resuscitation of the tourism segment the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry was allocated $71,1 billion to drive tourism development in the country.
Treasury last year availed a US$22,5 million industry retooling and capacitation revolving fund to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce directed mainly at the replacement of equipment and promotion of value chains.
The extensive agro-processing and fertilizer sector was allotted US$7, 5 million from the facility while the leather, cotton value chains, and pharmaceuticals got US$5 million each.
The revolving fund is targeting 10 areas of the economy prioritised by the NDS 1, particularly those that have a huge multiplier effect on the economy mainly agro-processing of cotton, leather, soya, sugar, and dairy value chains.
Pharmaceutical, iron, and steel, as well as the transportation sector including bus and truck assembly, are some of the key priority areas in the NDS1.
The intent to widen Zimbabwe’s exports is in tandem with the National Export Strategy (NES) whose main strategic goal is to increase total exports by at least 10 percent annually from US$4 billion in 2018 to US$ 7 billion by 2023, and US$14 billion by 2030.
As such the Ministry of Industry and Commerce recorded significant gains in 2023, and to sustain the gains an amount of $130,5 billion was allocated in the 2034 budget to support development and implementation of industrial policy and the retooling of the industry.
“The manufacturing sector has been recording steady gains in volume and capacity utilisation, as well as increase in the availability of domestically produced goods in the supermarkets’ shelves over the recent years.
“In 2024, the sector is projected to grow by 1, 6 percent, whilst capacity utilisation is expected to average 60 percent on account of expected price and exchange rate stability, improvement in electricity supply, as well as increased usage of the local currency,” said Minister Ncube.