biti presenting budget.jpgIndustrialists say there is need for the forthcoming 2011 national budget to address agriculture funding mechanisms to ensure availability of cheap raw materials resulting in increased capacity utilisation.


The local manufacturing industry, which is currently facing challenges in increasing capacity utilisation and industrialists are pinning their hopes on the forthcoming 2011 national budget presentation to address the situation.


Former Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries President, Mr Callisto Jokonya, said local industry has struggled for a long time owing to unavailability of lines of credit, adding that the forthcoming budget should address capacity challenges as the nation has failed to meet capacity utilisation targets.


“We set a target of 60 percent last year and this year we projected 80% capacity which we have failed to meet because industry is currently operating at between 25 to 40 percent,” said Mr Jokonya.


Business analyst, Mr Jonathan Kadzura said the existence of illegal sanctions continue to hamper economic growth  and as such the Finance Minister should address raw material challenges through improving agriculture funding to ensure that capacity utilisation is increased to better levels.


“There is no way we can achieve 80% capacity utilisation if agriculture is not funded the correct way. It is imperative for the Minister of Finance to address inputs challenges and structural needs of farmers,” Mr Jokonya said.


Last year, the government projected capacity utilisation of 60% but industry only achieved 32.2%.


This year industry has been targeting 80% but capacity utilisation levels are hovering between 25 and 40%.


With illegal sanctions in place, analysts believe that achieving 80% capacity utilisation remains a dream.