Analysts have cited high production costs, low capacity utilisation levels and high lending rates as factors contributing to the high prices of local products, thus making them less attractive on the market.

Local products are facing stiff completion from imports which have flooded the market.

Economic analyst, Mr Trevor Jakachira says government and the financial sector should stop lip service and put in place strategies to improve lending to the sector if the country is to have competitive prices of goods.

“Cost build ups from electricity, labour and raw materials can be cheaper but ours are too high, so industry naturally has to pass the costs to the consumer. What is needed is a real government approach which walks the talk,” said Mr Jakachira.

A retail analyst, Mr Denford Mutashu said lack of government support from the grassroots of production as well as value addition on the country’s exports are the push factors which stagnate the industry and described lack of support as exploitative.

“We don’t add value to our exports yet we import some of our export as processed raw materials. If support in the form of low lending rates and agricultural subsidies were available, the cost would inevitably be cheaper as production increases” said Mr Mutashu.

The capacity utilisation of Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector has grown from about 10% in 2008 to 57,2 % last year.

However, the sector remains constrained by several factors including lack of funding, low product demand, little investment in technology and an influx of low priced imports.

The manufacturing sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product is projected to grow to 30% from 9,7% over the next five years.