Government is set to deal with unscrupulous retailers who are still resorting to the multi-tier payment mode adversely impacting on consumers who are already struggling to contain the effects of the prevailing liquidity crunch in the country, a senior government official has said.
Addressing stakeholders at the Annual National Agri-Business Conference held at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society Exhibition Park yesterday, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said Government will work on financial sector reforms with all stakeholders to stabilise the situation.
“Government is also aware of the pricing challenges being experienced by many of agro-input suppliers who are charging farmers different prices depending on the mode of payment.
“l am further aware that this practice is not being done by agro-input suppliers but that it is a wave that has engulfed the whole economy.
“Therefore Government will work on financial sector reforms with all stakeholders to stabilise the situation.
“In light of the foregoing, there is need to conduct research to establish whether the current model of supporting farmers through producer price subsidy is the most ideal,” he said.
Zimbabwean economy went on a downward spiral due to a plethora of political, economic and social forces that witnessed the distribution of land described by the private and international media as chaotic, the departure of the country from Commonwealth, the imposition of economic sanctions by the West.
Under such a background of a harsh economic climate, unprecedented unemployment led to an illicit trade of cash made possible by the transition from Zimbabwean dollar to multiple currencies, on high demand by Cross-Border Traders (CBT), Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that were heavily driven by the government agenda to promote Black empowerment and the general business environment nationally.
Chiwenga added that Government will be restructuring the Agricultural Marketing Authority to address the marketing challenges currently being experienced by farmers.
“We have heard of farmers discounting growing flowers due to lack of readily foreign markets as well as failure to meet the quality standards.
“For that reason, Government will be restructuring the Agricultural Marketing Authority to address the marketing challenges currently being experienced by farmers.
“Furthermore we shall be exploring more export markets for our agricultural products through our export promotion agency ZimTrade.
“Aided by the re-engagement drive that more foreign markets shall be accessible to our agricultural products.\
“Other models such as subsidy at inputs or supplier levels could be explored to determine whether they enhance productivity and competitiveness. To this end, stakeholders should interrogate this proposal with a view to contributing to policy formulation,” added Chiwenga.