Farmers hit by shortage of AN fertiliser

Source: Farmers hit by shortage of AN fertiliser | The Herald 28 JAN, 2019

Midlands Bureau
Farmers in the Midlands province are facing acute shortage of ammonium nitrate fertiliser, amid revelations that the country’s sole ammonium nitrate fertiliser producer, Sable Chemicals, is able to produce only 25 percent of the country’s fertiliser requirements at the moment.

Government and private players were importing the remainder. Ironically, Sable Chemicals is in the Midlands province.

Midlands provincial crop and livestock officer Mrs Medlinah Magwenzi said she will engage management at Sable Chemicals to see how best they could help farmers access fertiliser.

“Our farmers in the Midlands Province are struggling to get ammonium nitrate fertiliser,” she said.

“Most of those who benefited under the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme and Command Agriculture also did not get ammonium nitrate. The irony of it is that the company that produces ammonium nitrate is here in Kwekwe, in the Midlands province, yet farmers in the province are the most affected.

“Their explanation is that they don’t sell fertiliser to individuals, but they sell bulk quantities to companies and retailers, but farmers can always organise themselves and buy the fertiliser in bulk.”

Sables Chemicals chief executive Mr Bothewell Nyajeka confirmed the company only sold the fertiliser in bulk, but conceded that they could make arrangements to assist farmers in the Midlands.

“We have traditional buyers who buy the product in bulk, but still we are not producing enough to meet demand at the moment,” he said.

“We can always see how best to assist the farmers, but you can imagine a situation where individuals are allowed to get into the company premises to buy a single or five bags of fertiliser. It will create chaos at the plant which is a protected area, but we will sit down with the marketing guys.”