Enacy Mapakame Business Reporter
Organic fertiliser manufacturing company, Agriman Fertiliser Zimbabwe is targeting an annual production of 30 000 tonnes when it commissions its Mutare plant later this year.
Acting chief executive officer Liberty Mtetwa said production lines at the Mutare plant should be active by December 2018, and targets the local market, reducing imports and export into the region.
“We plan to contribute over 30 000 tonnes per year by the end of year two from the Mutare plant,” he said by email.
Currently, Agriman Fertiliser is operating from a temporary shelter while work is being finalised on its blending plant. Plans are also underway to expand to Darwendale where another manufacturing plant is planned to be established in the next two years.
When fully operational, the Mutare blending plant is expected to employ over 50 full-time workers, over 120 part-time agronomists and field officers doing soil prescription based precision fertiliser. The firm specialises in organic fertiliser production, an area that is still untapped in Zimbabwe, hence presenting opportunities for growth.
Organic fertiliser is environmentally-friendly and utilises sewage sludge as its production ingredients, indirectly decelerating the level of waste, which may lead to contamination and pollution problems due to incomplete, improper and global non-complying sewage treatment processes.
Agriman Zimbabwe wants to take advantage of the infinite availability of the waste for recycling into bio-organic fertiliser.
Mr Mtetwa said the company was targeting to cover the gap in organic fertiliser production in Zimbabwe as well as complement Government’s efforts in boosting agriculture production.
He said, while Government was working on creating a conducive environment for business, the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” theme was a clarion call for all stakeholders to put efforts towards boosting the economy through investment in various sectors.
“While a great deal of work to conscientise the public to go green is happening in the background, we need to continue driving the void on fertiliser demand in the interim.
“We are basically avoiding importation of the carbon component, yet we can ease foreign currency demands that come with such imports,” he said.
Mr Mtetwa said while the country was experiencing positive investor sentiment following a change in leadership last November and reforms to indigenisation laws, foreign currency shortages were still a huge impediment to local industry.
Industry wide, some companies have downsized operations due to shortages in foreign currency to procure essential raw materials. However, Mr Mtetwa said there was still hope mainly driven by the positive sentiment.
The peaceful campaign season during
the recently held harmonised polls has also been identified as a catalyst in boosting investor confidence.
“We believe this is a starting point, a great mark in boosting investor confidence, and it’s not far before we see the effects of ‘Zimbabwe Is Open for Business’ mantra bearing more results from a foreign direct investment perspective,” he said.