Outdated equipment, technology hinder Zim-Asset growth

18 Jul, 2016 - 00:07 0 Views

The Herald

Business Reporter
Obsolete equipment and infrastructure remain the key stumbling blocks towards the achievement of targets and programmes under the value addition and beneficiation cluster of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).

This was highlighted in a paper presented on Zim-Asset Targets, Achievements, Challenges and New Milestones at the Office of the President and Cabinet stakeholders’ workshop last week.

The paper noted that the value addition cluster is failing to attract investment and fresh capital due to an unconducive macroeconomic environment in particular, inconsistent policies.

“The cluster is largely affected by old and outdated equipment and technology, which is expensive to maintain thereby contributing to high costs of production.

“The country is also failing to attract investment and fresh capital due to an unconducive macroeconomic environment, in particular inconsistent policies and the high cost of doing business, slow speed of enacting legislation and fragmented coordination processes,” read the paper.

The paper said the under-performance of the agriculture sector has negatively affected the manufacturing sector since the sector consumes about 70 percent of the agricultural output.

“Budgetary constraints for both recapitalisation and day-to-day operations remain a challenge and uncompetitive pricing models resulting in influx of cheap imports.”

The paper noted that despite the challenges the cluster registered some positives in the first quarter with leather products output at $412 million against a target of $190 million. The country’s leather industry has been operating at a subdued capacity despite market opportunities in the region due to liquidity challenges but financiers like the African Development Bank have since stepped in to support the industry.

On cooking oil, 69 million litres were produced against a target of 90 million litres while 21 436 litres of honey were produced and a honey processing machine was manufactured.

About 55 000 tonnes of fertiliser was produced and fertiliser was removed from the Open General Import licence.

Stock feeds production was at 122 604 tonnes while 14 218 241 litres of milk were processed during the second quarter of 2016 while 10 143,48 tonnes of meat was processed and against a target 33 333 tonnes. On the gold industry, eight provincial gold processing and buying centres were earmarked to be set up through Fidelity Printers Refinery and 283 syndicates and 472 small scale miners were registered.

In the diamond industry, 15 diamond cutting and polishing factories were established. Of these, 14 are Harare and one in Mutare. In addition, 1 000 carats polished gem diamonds were produced. In the platinum industry, the first stage refurbishment of the existing Base Metal Refinery at Zimplats has commenced.

A Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement between South Africa and Zimbabwe to feed into the Beitbridge One Stop Border Post agreement was signed.

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