HomeBusinessImport restrictions push vendors to agro products

Import restrictions push vendors to agro products

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A GROWING number of vendors have resorted to selling agro products after the restriction on imports cut supply lines, a vendors’ organisation has said.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

In July government promulgated Statutory Instrument 64 which restricted the importation of 43 products which have local equivalents in a bid to boost the local manufacturing sector.

In an interview yesterday, National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) chairperson Sten Zvorwadza said the new trend was also necessitated by the entry of more vendors and informal traders who have taken to the streets to sell their wares.

“This is an indication of unemployment worsening in the country. There is a massive increase in vendors selling tradable commodities that are agro-based. We have seen an increase of informal economy workers selling ordinary farming products which is growing on a day-to-day basis,” Zvorwadza said.

“There is also a significant reduction of vendors selling imported products although some are still operating.”
He said the introduction of the bond notes had also made it difficult on import-dependent vendors who are struggling to sell the money to cash dealers without making a loss.

“The trend is also happening at national level as well,” Zvorwadza said.

Zimbabwe Cross-Border Traders’ Association secretary-general Augustine Tawanda could not be reached for comment.
In a snap survey in central business district, vendors said their products were home-grown, or sourced from small-scale farmers and marketplaces. The majority are selling the goods in bulk at a lower price which gives them a profit of about 15 cents on the dollar.

For vendors operating in Harare, the majority are getting their products from Mbare Musika vegetable market.
On average these vendors are earning between $5 and $5,33 a day to support immediate and extended families.

“There is no money and the United States dollar is very hard to come by nowadays.

I only earn about $15 a month in profit believe it or not as there is no cash,” one vendor and mother of five said.

A 2015 survey by the Research and Advocacy Unit showed that on average vendors were making between $9 and $12 a day for a total monthly average $172.

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