Zambia NewsAgriculture

Concerned about delayed delivery of fertilizer to farmers, Fred M’membe

According to Fred M’membe, the head of the SOCIALIST Party, there are significant issues with the lack of predictability and transparency in the entire fertiliser supply industry.

According to Dr. M’membe, if the causes of the inability to provide people with fertilisers at the appropriate times and in the required quantities are not recognized and addressed, the nation’s agricultural fortunes will not change.

He said that the Ministry of Agriculture seriously lacks information regarding tenders for the 2022–2023 growing season, which in large part contributed to the delay and the numerous significant obstacles in obtaining fertilizers.

“At a minimum, suppliers need four months to secure and deliver fertiliser into the country. This government, without explanation, cancelled the open tenders at the end of August and “secretly” awarded tenders thereafter.

Importers can only secure stocks of fertilisers after government determines its requirements and the financing arrangements governing the programme.And offtake of fertiliser on the open market will be low this season given the prices K1,200 for a 50 kg bag instead of the K250 per 50 kg bag they had promised our people currently facing the users, and as such this speaks to lower procurement forecasts for the open market as well. The consequences of this don’t require much disquisition,” he said.

Dr. M’membe asserted that the acquisition of urea might not have been as challenging as the acquisition of D-Compound if decisions had been made in good time and tenders had been awarded appropriately.

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