Tendai Gukutikwa: Business Correspondent
Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 has enabled Zimbabweans to appreciate locally produced goods, a situation that has helped revive dying industries, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa has said.Speaking during a tour of Associated Foods Zimbabwe plant in Lower Vumba last Thursday, Cde Chinamasa urged local producers to step up and meet local demand.
He said SI64 was a continuous process which will see some items being removed while some will be added to the instrument with time.
The Minister said there was need to continuously alter the instrument depending on the availability of local products. “The SI 64 instrument is not closed for renovations. It will be altered depending on how our local industries are performing. Some items will be removed while some will be added for the good of the economy because our main goal is to revive the economy.”
He said the instrument was already yielding positive results and will continue to do so if pruned.
Cde Chinamasa said Zimbabweans have learnt to appreciate locally manufactured and processed products.
“With no doubt, since the instrument was put into place, the economy has been moving in a more favourable direction than before. It is on the right track and the foundation is becoming firmer daily even though it still needs a lot of work. The moment we increase local production of these products, we increase our market as well as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country,” he said.
GDP is one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country’s economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period.
The producer of peanut butter, jam spreads, canned tomatoes, nut savouries and canned fruits, AFZ has upped its production from their usual18 000 cases a month to 33 000 cases in December 2016.
Currently, AFZ is importing peanuts from neighbouring countries for its peanut butter production because of the shortage of peanuts in the country.
However Mr Simba Nyabadza, who is AFZ majority shareholder, said the company was in the process of engaging local farmers for the out growers scheme project in Chisumbanje.
Mr Brian Fearon also from AFZ said the Chisumbanje out-growers scheme project was essential.
He commented SI 64 saying it has encouraged consumers to support local products.
“Our market has become viable because of the instrument and for that we thank the Government,” he said.
The plant was funded by a $2million investment from NorFund, a Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing countries.