THE forex shortages in the country have adversely affected operations in the agriculture sector as most firms are battling to pay suppliers for various consignments.
A cross section of players in the agriculture sector and agro value processing chain said the forex shortages could derail efforts to revive the economy if they are not given priority in the disbursement of foreign currency.
Sean Bell a representative of Radzim Zimbabwe which specializes in importing agriculture equipment such as planters and combine harvesters said that the forex shortage had led to delays in paying suppliers.
“All importers are struggling with accessing foreign currency and it’s not a good picture, we should be at the top tier as a sector but we have not received any support since the forex shortages begun,” said Bell.
Intaba Trading which specializes in the distribution of Sygenta crop chemicals and hybrid vegetable seed said the forex shortages had resulted in them failing to meet market demand for some of their products.
“The main challenge is that we are unable to get forex and thereby we have a shortage of vegetable seeds on the market. On the chemicals side the challenge is the same and I’m failing to supply the market with Actellic Dust and we have pending orders that cannot be met,” said Intaba operations manager Talk Chinoda.
Livestock feeds manufacturer Capital Foods sales director Owen Nyoni also acknowledged that the forex shortage was poising a challenge for their business.
“While the bulk of raw materials about ninety-five percent for our feeds are sourced locally it is the remaining five percent that requires foreign currency and is giving us challenges. Getting the forex is a huge challenge for us to import the vitamins and minerals we require in our feeds”.
Fertilizer producer NuFert managing director Anton Brown said that government needed to support fertilizer manufacturing companies to access foreign currency and remove unnecessary statutory instruments that prevent the importation of raw materials.