Zimbabwe faces fertilizer shortage due to lack of foreign currency
An acute shortage of fertiliser is looming after producers failed to get enough foreign currency to import raw materials, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development heard yesterday. It also emerged that some fertiliser firms have raw materials and fertiliser in their warehouses held under a collateral management agreement, but can only be accessed after paying external suppliers.
Fertiliser making firms appealed to Government to increase the amount of foreign currency allocation to enable them to meet their contractual obligations and all farmers have enough fertiliser. Both Omnia Fertiliser Zimbabwe plant in Banket and ZFC Limited in Harare said that even though Government had prioritised them on foreign currency the money was not enough to import critical materials.
ZFC Ltd managing director, Dr Richard Dafana told the committee that the company required $6 million to complete their obligations under Command Agriculture and said they were not operating at full capacity because of foreign currency challenges, as they constantly run out of raw materials. Omnia Zimbabwe which provides gas to Sable chemicals to enable production of the Ammonium Nitrate, said it could not continue accessing raw materials as the funders required their money in 180 days.