HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The Zimbabwe government has revised upwards the 2017
growth forecast to 3.7 percent from the initial 0.6 percent mainly
due to improved agricultural performance.
The government’s efforts in implementing reforms to improve the
business and investment environment are also expected to boost
growth in 2017, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick
Chinamasa said on Thursday in an address at the Zimbabwe Staff
“I anticipate after revision, our growth to be around 3.7 percent
from 0.6 percent or so that we had anticipated in the 2017 national
budget,” the minister was quoted as saying by the stat-run Herald
He said the country was expecting a bumper maize harvest of 3
million tons, the highest ever in recent years up from 1 million
produced in 2016. He said the government will pay above market price
of 390 U.S. dollars per ton for maize.
Cotton output was projected to rise to 150,000 tons from 30,000 tons
last season, he said, adding that the agriculture sector was
expected to produce 3 billion dollars worth of produce in 2017.
Staple maize production this year had been boosted by a
government-sponsored command scheme that is expected to produce
maize enough to meet the 750,000 tons requirement for the national
strategic grain reserve, currently holding 250,000 tons.
Meanwhile, Chinamasa said the country’s industrial sector had
virtually collapsed due to shortage of foreign currency to import
raw materials as well as lack of lines of credit.
He said the government was making efforts to revive the sector,
including implementing ease of doing business reforms to improve the
“As a result of these initiatives, we have seen the level of
industrial capacity utilization rising from 34 percent in 2015 to
the current 50 percent depending on the sub-sector,” the minister