The government has commended shopping outlets for the domination of local good on the shelves and for maintaining reasonable prices on locally manufactured products saying it is in line with the country’s value addition and beneficiation thrust.
Speaking to Great Dyke News 24 after a tour of OK Mabvuku supermarket organised by Buy Zimbabwe to assess availability and pricing of local goods in the agricultural value chain held today, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr. Anxious Masuka commended the dominance of locally produced products in retail outlets.
After observing that the instore baked bread was cheaper than that supplied by other well known brands, Dr Masuka said the government will engage with the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to grant bakeries direct access to GMB wheat to ensure affordability and lower prices for bread.
“What is pleasing is that here in Mabvuku there is preponderance of local agriculturally produced local products from the agricultural sector from potatoes to tomatoes to onions to ginger and all the value added products we saw, for example, for breakfast the cereals range is now 90% local .
“We saw in all the agriculturally led value chains, we saw in bread that 90% -100% is local. What’s interesting however is that OK has been very innovative in coming up with instore brands which are actually cheaper than some of the commercial brands and what we would like to propose to them especially for bread is that we can give them access direct to GMB wheat so that they can lower their prices further to our customers and I think there is scope to work around there to develop this aspect further but generally we are very pleased with what OK has done, that they have accepted local products and they are very competitively priced .
“We saw in most of the cases that they are actually priced lower than imported products so we commend the local producers and we are on the right path.
“We must remain aggressive and this is the transformation of agriculture that is taking place at pace and at scale. When farmers produce there is value addition and beneficiation,” he said.
Turning to the cotton and textlies value chain which is lagging in local content production, Minister Masuka highlighted that the government has increased its shareholding in Cottco from 37% by 14% and it is also working towards capacitating the textile industry through investing in spinning, weaving and clothing.
“In the cotton sector, cotton had plumeted to 28 000 metric tonnes production by 2013-2014 season and the government intervened with the presidential input scheme. We fine-tuned that scheme to make it climate proofed so that it is alongside the lines of Pfumvudza/ Intwasa,” he said.
The Buy Zimbabwe Week, which this year is from the 21st to the 25th of November 2022 saw the Buy Zimbabwe team touring selected wholesale and retail outlets to promote the buying of locally made goods and services.
It ran under the theme ‘Defend and grow Zimbabwean products market share’ Participating outlets included OK, Pick n Pay Gain Cash and Carry, Mohammed Musa, Metro Peech, N Richards, Spar, TV Sales and Home and Bata Shoe Company.
Buy Zimbabwe also partnered with Chinhoyi University of Science and Technology aiming towards promoting locally made products produced by youths and SMEs.