No investment in construction, agriculture

Eric Bloch

THE construction and agriculture  industries are singing the blues  after failing  to attract any foreign direct investments (FDI) in the five months ended May 2013  as potential  suitors continue to  shun  the  sectors citing policy inconsistencies.


According to latest statistics released by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) there were no investments in the two sectors.
Commercial Farmers’ Union president Charles Taffs said lack of investment in the agriculture sector was attributed to the fact that most farmers do not have collateral and as such cannot access funding.
“Most farmers don’t have collateral after the chaotic land reform programme and there is no investor who can channel his money in such a sector,” Taffs said.
The government in the early 2000 embarked on a chaotic fast-track land reform programme and acquired an estimated 11 million hectares of white-owned farmland and redistributed it on a massive scale.
According to economic analyst Erich Bloch, since land reform there has been a critical dependence on imports as the agriculture sector declined at an unprecedented rate and the country could not sustain itself.

The country needs an estimated 1,8 million tonnes of grain to meet demand. The current national yield is a little more than
300 000 tonnes per annum as the agriculture sector continues on a down path.
The construction sector is in a similar dilemma also and after failing to attract investment, is expected to miss its projected 5% growth target this year.
Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Annie Rukweza told Southern Eye Business that the sector recorded subdued performance in the first half of the year as government projects were few.
She attributed to lack of huge capital inflows and major national development projects which resulted in the depressed performance of the sector as the economy continued to weaken.

The economy in Zimbabwe continues on a slow down chiefly attributed to lack FDIs due to policy inconsistences, chief among those being the indigenisation law and the uncertainty surrounding the coming elections.

ZIA approved investment projects worth $134 million as of May end this year, with economic analysts saying the figures were by far below average, attributing this also to the uncertainty surrounding the forthcoming elections.
Of the approved projects, 75% were from China, valued at $100 million, Mauritius 8% representing $11 million, South Africa 7% at $7 million, while investments from UK amounted to $3 million representing 2%.

Economic analysts, however, are on record saying investors will delay implementing the approved projects as they are uncertain with the outcome of the coming polls, as they may result in policy shift.