Businesses emphasise on supporting local producers

By Innocent Nxumalo

LOCAL business people have vowed to continue supporting local production after harsh lessons drawn from Covid-19 with travel restrictions having affected international commerce.

While land borders have now been opened, local companies have vowed to continue supporting the strengthening of the local production value chain which was spurred by a cocktail of restrictions induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chairperson of Beitbridge Chamber of Business, Clevers Moyo summed up the new trajectory which taps into the government’s import substitution drive.

“As the business, we were hit hard by closed borders as we used to import literally everything. Covid forced us to have confidence in home-produced products. Even the opening of land borders will not see us importing things like butternuts, potatoes and stuff like that,” he said.

The sentiments were echoed by Chairperson of the Cross Border Association, Alfios Macheka who spoke on the need to support the local production value chain.

“It is no longer that profitable to move goods from the other side of the border. We have made it a point to prioritise on commodities that are not competitively available as we are now aware of the importance of giving breathing space to local players,” he said.

The National Development Strategy One (NDS1) has underscored the importance of import substitution and strengthening local value chains to achieve an upper-middle-income society by 2030.