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The Agri-Business Sector in Zimbabwe
The agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors contributed 12.1% to Zimbabwe’s GDP in 2018 and employed more than two-thirds of the labour force. Some of the challenges facing Zimbabwe’s agri-business sector are the increased occurrence and severity of climate shocks, its dependence on a rain-fed farming system, a shortage of foreign currency, rapidly rising inflation, and a scarcity of fuel and electricity.
Production and Processing
Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector is dominated by more than 1.3 million smallholder farmers, mostly using traditional farming techniques that lead to low production. The main staple crop is maize, while the main cash crops are sugar cane, tobacco and seed cotton, and other important crops are wheat, groundnuts, sorghum, soya beans, barley, sugar beans, millet and tea. Agro-processing activities include the production of sugar, edible oil, tea and animal feed and the milling of maize and wheat. There are many private sector participants in the agro-processing sector.
Zimbabwe has an ideal climate and fertile soils that provide favourable conditions for the production of a variety of crops. The agricultural sector has, however, not reached its full potential due to a number of factors including a lack of inputs, equipment and irrigation infrastructure and climate shocks. Challenges faced by processors of agricultural products include frequent electricity outages, unnecessary bureaucracy and poor transport infrastructure.
This report focuses on the Agri-Business Sector in Zimbabwe. It provides comprehensive information on the state of the industry, available production and trade statistics and the factors that influence the sector. There are profiles of 20 companies including Starafrica, which produces around 80% of the country’s refined sugar output, and Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed agro-industrial company Ariston and Rift Valley Corporation, the largest producer of bananas in the country. Other major companies profiled include National Foods and Pure Oil.