Harare – The revival of Zimbabwe industries is pinioned on agriculture, Zimbabwe Deputy Agriculture Minister Vangelis Haritatos has claimed. Presenting his introductory remarks at an agriculture event organised by DEAT Capital recently, Haritatos said that 63% of raw materials to the Zimbabwe manufacturing sector come from agriculture. “If agriculture is wrong, industry will be wrong”, claimed Haritatos after sharing this key statistic. Coming at a time the country is experiencing acute energy challenges to support agricultural production; the revival of agro-dependent Zimbabwe industries remains elusive. According to the United Nations food agency, FAO, a third of the Zimbabwean population is facing starvation this year after severe droughts in 2018. This year again, economic instability has created energy and pricing instability, twin evils that risk derailing Zimbabwe’s 2019 agricultural season preparations, together with climate change. Haritatos bemoaned the unreliability of traditional energy sources in supporting the agricultural sector as climate change continues to affect hydro-power. As the country looks into the future, Haritatos urged farmers and businesses to embrace renewable energy.
Zimbabwe industries have endured a tough year as foreign currency fluctuations ruffle raw material costs, transport costs and energy costs on a weekly basis. Government is expected to create an enabling environment for businesses to prosper, but the situation on the ground is inconceivable. National success is in private capital, but in Zimbabwe, the relationship between government and businesses lacks trust. The deputy Minister alluded to this fact when he said that the answer to Zimbabwe’s challenges is in the private sector. He went on to say that there is an invisible war between the private sector and the public sector and unless this war is pacified, Zimbabwe will not prosper.