By Alois Vinga
Government has indicated it will require at an initial order of 20 000 tonnes of fertiliser to be distributed under the command agriculture program at a time when Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company (ZFC) has unveiled the latest blending technology ahead of the farming season.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Business Monday, ZFC managing director Richard Dafana said government has placed an initial order under the command agriculture program.
“While negotiations are still under way, for now government has indicated the urgent need for 20 000 tonnes of fertiliser which will be distributed under command agriculture scheme. We are expecting more orders as the 2019/20 farming season unfolds,” said Dafana.
The announcement comes at a time when government has entered into partnerships with Agribank, CBZ, Stanbic and Women’s banks to manage and disburse funds for the programme in a bid to improve efficiency and avoid corruption.
With prices soaring forcing farmers revise hectarage, Dafana said these have been the result of currency fluctuations.
“We are relying on imported raw materials which require foreign currency to purchase so if there are fluctuations on the interbank market, prices will definitely be forced to move,” he said.
Meanwhile, ZFC recently installed a US$500 000 blender, a high technology equipment that is capable of producing any customised fertiliser formulation that is specific to any farmer’s needs or soil type at relatively low cost.
According to Dafana the new plant can produce an unlimited number of formulations which is ideal for small scale farmers very well as this matches their purchasing capacity.
The new blender will improve the national capacity for production of basal fertilisers as it can produce 45 tonnes per hour enabling ZFC to treble output to 350 000 tonnes per year, which is almost equivalent to the national requirements.