Govt: 55 000t fertiliser on the way. The fertiliser has started arriving and some Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots have started receiving the imported fertiliser and distributing. By Friday last week, between 35 and 40 trucks passed through Beitbridge, each carrying about 34 tonnes of top dressing fertiliser.
UP to 55 000 tonnes of top dressing fertiliser have been imported, while resources have also been set aside to ensure accelerated imports of fertiliser to avert local shortages and ensure summer crops are not affected by nitrogen deficiency.
Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka yesterday said they had put in place mechanisms to ensure trucks bringing in the fertiliser were not delayed.
Farmers will get the top dressing fertilisers in two batches. Minister Masuka also said preparations for the 2021/22 winter cropping season were underway with the ministry working on the requirements for the season to avoid inputs shortages.
“We are bringing in 55 000 tonnes of fertiliser via Chirundu, Beitbridge and Forbes border posts. My expectation is that we will be able to see accelerated delivery into the country and distribution.
“We have put expediters at the various border posts so that trucks carrying fertilisers go onto the green route and there is no delay. As of Friday, we had cleared all trucks coming through Beitbridge. We had an average of 35 to 40 trucks each carrying 34 tonnes urea or ammonium nitrate. We are doing the same in Chirundu and Forbes,” he said.
Minister Masuka said there was a slight delay in the delivery of urea through Forbes Border Post because of tropical storm Chalane.
“There was a bit of destruction as the ship could not dock and had to be returned. We are now accelerating that. We advise farmers that once we have this product they may not be able to get their full allocations because the plant does not require all the nitrogen in one day.
“The plant will use the nitrogen over a period of time from about six leaf stage going forward. “We want to give farmers about 50 percent of their requirements so we can give as many farmers as possible so that they will receive these top dressing fertilisers in two tranches,” he said.
Zimbabwe has the capacity to produce basal and top dressing fertilisers, but Minister Masuka said the capacity could only be unlocked fully if the companies that make raw materials are given resources early.
If resources are availed late, shortages will be experienced. For the 2020/21 agricultural season, the country requires 106 000 tonnes for Command Agriculture and 95 000 for the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programmes and these are required in a short space of time.
A number of farmers had started complaining over shortages of top dressing fertilisers, which most crops now require. There were fears that if the challenge continued, yields could be compromised.
Source – The Herald
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