Business has called for urgency in the crafting of the local product content policy so that political will to increase production and consumption of local goods become a reality.

Implementation monitoring and periodical reviews will also be necessary to make the policy a success.

This development comes at a time a cross section of consumers have endorsed local products.

Calls to increase production of local goods through a local content policy should now be translated into action.

Stakeholders in the manufacturing and retail industry concurred that more urgency is needed in the local content policy formulation process as this final product will stimulate the Zimbabwean economy.

“What we have to do is ensure that the government comes up with the actual policy which directs that certain thresholds even raw must actually be procured locally, which directs the whole value chain. We should not however advocate for blanket local procurement, as we also need to go to back to quality issues because out there consumers want quality goods to ensure consumers are not short-changed,” Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers President, Mr Denford Mutashu said.

Other stakeholders said a wide consultative process will also be necessary, coupled with monitoring and review in the roll out of the local content policy.

“We need to translate talk into action. First of all, we need a stakeholder consultative process and we need to research on the local content rate. As Buy Zimbabwe, we are working on a local content rating policy, and what we need to do is work out incentives so that the higher the local content, the higher the incentive,” Buy Zimbabwe Campaign General Manager, Mr Munyaradzi Hwengwere said.

Sentiments from consumers indicate that they are fully behind the Buy Zimbabwe drive as they value local quality standards and the need to promote local industry.

Competitiveness of local products is improving with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers confirming that goods retailed even in border towns like Beitbridge are now 90 percent local.

Initiatives to promote the local industry have over the years significantly boosted production in sectors like dairy, beverages manufacturing, clothing and cooking oil processing, leading to a subsequent increase in jobs.