Fertiliser companies ready for 2021/22 season

Source: Fertiliser companies ready for 2021/22 season | Sunday Mail (Business)

Nelson Gahadza
Senior Business Reporter

Major fertiliser companies have said they are ready to meet anticipated demand for the 2021/2022 summer cropping season.

Inputs distribution under the Presidential Input Scheme has already started.

The Government plans to distribute 8 000 tonnes of seed, 400 000 tonnes of conventional chemicals, 600 000 litres of pyrethroids, 100 000 litres of acaricides and 60 000kg of aphicides.

The Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company (ZFC) managing director, Mr Richard Dafana, told The Sunday Mail Business that the company is well stocked in terms of basal fertilisers.

“We are still producing and have made arrangements to bring in enough raw materials in time. For top dressing, we are bringing in product to augment local production and are confident we will have enough product for the season,” he said.

Basal fertilisers are incorporated into the soil prior to planting to increase fertility and concentration of mineral elements.

According to Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza, as of August 20, 2021, the fertiliser industry had 264 000 tonnes of fertiliser stocks in raw material equivalent, including finished product split as NPK compounds and blends 187 000 tonnes and top-dressing (AN/Urea) 77 000 tonnes.

The planned production from August to December 2021 is 375 000 tonnes of NPK fertiliser and 26 000 tonnes of AN.

More than 200 000 tonnes of top-dressing will be imported.

The five-year National Development Strategy 1 is premised on promoting import substitution and local beneficiation by exploiting the local phosphates value chain from Dorowa Mine and ZimPhos for the production “of competitively priced” compound D.

For the 2021/2022 season, Dorowa and ZimPhos are expected to produce 75 000 tonnes of phosphate.

The country’s sole ammonium nitrate fertiliser producer, Sable Chemicals, said the industry is ready.

“The uniqueness of Sable is that we are the sole manufacturer of ammonium nitrate; therefore, we are ready from January to December.

“Our model does not allow us to stock; we manufacture for customers, but for Government schemes, we produce and distribute to various Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots countrywide,” said Sable Chemicals chief executive officer Mr Bothwell Nyajeka.

The company is currently investing in rehabilitating and upgrading plant capacity.

“We want to move productive capacity from the current 90 000 tonnes per annum, which is 7 500t per month, up to 240 000 tonnes annum, which is 20 000 tonnes per month,” he said.

Sable has contractual obligations with CBZ Agro-Yield for the production of ammonium nitrate fertiliser.

The CBZ Agro-Yield is a CBZ Holdings agricultural financing initiative in partnership with the Government for financing maize and soyabean production.

It was launched during the 2019/2020 farming season.

The country is forecast to receive normal to above-normal rains in the October-November-December (OND) period, as well in the January-February-March (JMF) (2022) period.

The Government will be distributing seed and other agricultural services through programmes such as Pfumvudza/Intwasa conservation scheme, Presidential Input Scheme, National Enhanced Crop Productivity Scheme (known better as Command Agriculture), the Livestock Growth Plan and the farm mechanisation programme.

Seed Co Limited has since indicated that it has adequate seed stocks to meet demand. The company recently commissioned a US$13 million seed maize conditioning plant that is expected to enhance the company’s seed maize supply capacity for both local and regional markets.

According to Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka, the Government is targeting growing agriculture to a US$8,2 billion sector by 2025 through the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy.

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