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Abstract

This paper attempts to assess Zimbabwe’s agricultural competitiveness, in terms of the sector’s performance, and challenges to expanding the sector and improving competitiveness. The paper also discusses key drivers of competitiveness, describes several indicators of agricultural competitiveness, and introduces approaches to competitiveness benchmarking. It advocates for private sector driven, market based agricultural competitiveness, and presents approaches to addressing these challenges, drawing on numerous international experiences. The paper notes that key to improving competitiveness is the need for Zimbabwe to, among other imperatives: reduce losses and costs by improving storage, logistics and transport; improve economies of scale; improve business-business linkages; understand and serve market needs; upgrade and deepen value chains; understand and use standards and certification; lower investment risk; and position products and value chains for greater value and competitiveness. It also notes the need for Government intervention in addressing the policy environment to pave the way for the successful implementation of the several approaches that have been used in other countries to enhance agricultural competitive. The paper thus underscores the need for collaboration between the public and private sectors, and willingness of the public sector to assume responsibility for ensuring a strong platform for competitiveness and an enabling environment that encourages and supports the private sector.

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