Mike Tome Herald Reporter
The 2018 /19 agricultural season is looking bleak as prices of fertiliser have drastically shot up beyond the reach of many, farmer organisations warned yesterday.
The farmers have not been spared from the current wave of price hikes and would suffer the brunt of the ongoing adverse pricing environment.
In the past few days, Zimbabwe experienced a spike in prices of basic goods such as cooking oil and flour following a recent directive by Reserve Bank allowing banks to separate accounts for local money circulating in the banking system and foreign currency accounts.
Fertiliser producers have since described the spike in prices as wild and confusing.
A survey by The Herald Business yesterday showed the price of fertiliser had nearly doubled. However, the prices of seed have slightly increased.
A visit to Omnia shop in Harare’ central business district revealed the price of Ammonium Nitrate was pegged at $77,50 while Compound D was priced at $68,75. At Farm and City, the price of a 50kg bag of Compound D was pegged at $55 while Compound C was going for $42 a bag.
At the Orgfert shop a bag of Ammonium Nitrate (Orgfert) was priced at US$27 a bag while compound D was pegged at US$24. The shop was not accepting the bond note or electronic money.
Before the current wave of price increases, the average price of fertiliser was $32. Some agro inputs outlets have also closed shop owing to unviable of souring price environment.
“These disturbances are coming at the wrong time when farmers are beginning preparations for the summer season,” Zimbabwe Farmers Union president Paul Zakaria told Agrinews, an online farming publication.
Prices of inputs play a critical role in the seasonal cropping plans. Any adjustment of prices upwards, has the effect of increasing production costs.