Strengthen import substitution mechanisms: Economic Analysts

By ZBC Reporter
ANALYSTS say the economy continues to suffer from subdued productivity, forcing the country to import such things as fruits, tooth picks and steel that can easily be produced locally.
Zimbabwe is being saddled by a huge import bill characterized by the importation of some products which can be produced in excess locally.
In light of this, analysts believe that the mining and agricultural sectors should up their game to drive economic resurgence through serving as major sources of raw materials for the local industry.
Economic analyst, Luxon Zembe believes it is the time agricultural and the manufacturing sectors must be resuscitated as a matter of urgency to save the country’s foreign currency.
“There is an urgent need for self-introspection in respect of the country’s import composition and re-strategies towards massive import substitution mechanisms,” said Zembe.
The sentiments were supported by another economist, Titus Mukove, who said increased productivity in both the agricultural and mining sectors translates in increased productivity in the manufacturing sector, hence job creation and economic growth.
“Under the Zimbabwean context it has now become imperative to come up with a strategy for import substitution for unlimited economic benefits to accrue,” said Mukove.
A survey by the ZBC News shows that the country’s industry is importing such things as fruits for juice making, something that can easily be halted by increased investment in citrus plantations.
The local manufacturing sector has also come under scrutiny with analysts questioning the logic behind the importation of such things as tooth picks and books that can be easily produced locally using readily available forestry resources.
For analysts, the government also requires to implement import substitution strategies that discourage importation of products that are available locally.