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Drought Harms Zimbabwe’s Economic Growth Prospects: Mthuli Ncube

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Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube released a Progress Report where he speaks about what the government has achieved so far since they came into office in August of 2018. In the report, he says he anticipates the economy to grow by 4% for the year ended 2018.

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This growth will be driven mainly by Agriculture and Mining sectors underscoring the fact that Zimbabwe is a mainly primary based economy as opposed to a manufacturing one. Because our economy is still agro-based it means we are very vulnerable to droughts.

Agriculture, which experienced high growth rates of 12% in 2018 driven by cash crops and livestock production, will however, see some loss in grain yields in 2019 owing to late and below rainfall pattern, high cost of inputs and outbreak of diseases. Hence, the sector is therefore projected to grow by a modest 3%.

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The need for diversification

The prices of minerals, usually in barely processed form, that Zimbabwe sells are constantly fluctuating too. Countries like Russia and Nigeria which rely heavily on commodities to boost their economies have suffered unexpected recessions at times in the past because their economies are not diversified.

In times past the government has flirted with intermediate technologies such as diamond polishing but these have gone nowhere. Such technologies present an easy and relatively affordable way to boost the country’s export value.


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