The Mercury

Incentive is needed to prevent the spread of animal disease


revenue base in light of continued weakness in the Zimbabwe dollar.

IH Securities said in a note that the industry in 2018 recorded a profit of $389.8 million (R5.94 billion) compared to $241.9m the prior year.

Zimbabwe has continued to reform its financial sector through liberalisi­ng the exchange rate regime, changing the functional currency from US dollar to Zimdollar, hiking interest rates and approving increases for various statutory fees, although some liabilitie­s for banks have remained denominate­d in foreign currency.

“The recently introduced reforms can potentiall­y result in a liquidity crisis within the banking sector. First, the floating of the ZWL$ against the US$ has created a mismatch between foreign currency denominate­d assets and liabilitie­s on some bank balance sheets,” IH Securities said.

Zimbabwe has already seen electricit­y and petroleum prices go up as the country grapples with an economy that Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube expects to contract 3 percent this year. AGRICULTUR­E Business Chamber (Agbiz), an organisati­on that represents commercial farmers and agribusine­ss, yesterday called on the government to introduce incentives to reduce the spread of animal disease in South Africa.

Wandile Sihlobo, the chief economist at Agbiz, said in a note that the industry remained concerned that farmers might give in to the temptation to rush the rest of the herd to the market when they realise that some pigs within their herd were dying, because of the African Swine Flu.

“This would present a risk of further spread of the disease (which spreads by contact).

“This leads us to the point of incentives for areas that have been affected by the disease,” Sihlobo said. “While government finances are constraine­d, farmers should be incentivis­ed to report the outbreaks so that the disease can be successful­ly controlled.”

Agbiz argued that the incentives could take the form of government payments to farmers for a portion of the market value of pigs to be culled, because of the disease as provided for in the Animal Diseases Act.

Agricultur­e, Land Reform, and Rural Developmen­t minister Thoko Didiza on Saturday announced a special task team to look into ways to curb the spread of African Swine Flu from the three affected provinces to other provinces.

The department has said that it is engaging the National Treasury and the department of Co-operative Governance and Traditiona­l Affairs for assistance to quickly respond to the fever.

Since April, South Africa had experience­d outbreaks of African Swine Flu in the North West, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and the Free State.

Pork prices in China have surged more than 40 percent after the world’s largest consumer and producer of pork experience­d an outbreak of the fever.

Beijing has since introduced higher subsidies for consumers and farmers as the disease continues to ravage livestock.

Statistics South Africa will this week release July’s producer prices.

South Africa’s annual producer price inflation index (PPI) eased from a 6.4 percent gain the May to 5.8 percent in June.

Sihlobo said one of the factors contributi­ng to the meat price increase is pork, which is influenced by lower production in Asia, because of the spreading African Swine Flu, specifical­ly in China and Vietnam.

Lukman Otunuga, an analyst at FXTM, said much attention this week would be directed towards the PPI, which is seen as a leading indicator of inflation.

“Further signs of easing inflationa­ry pressures should reinforce market expectatio­ns over the South African Reserve Bank cutting interest rates to stimulate domestic consumptio­n and economic growth,” Otunuga said.

KABELO KHUMALO ?? ZIMBABWEAN Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube expects the country’s economy to contract 3 percent this year. |
PHILIMON BULAWAYO Reuters by KABELO KHUMALO ZIMBABWEAN Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube expects the country’s economy to contract 3 percent this year. |

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