Local firms import much of the raw materials, especially chemicals used for the manufacture of fertilisers. Among other cost drivers, the importation of raw material has a significant impact on the final product, fertiliser.
This comes as local fertiliser manufacturers – Zimphos, Sable Chemicals, Zimbabwe Fertilizer Company (ZFU) and Windmill are battling to remain competitive in the sector slowly becoming dominated by cut-throat competition from imported fertiliser imports.
“There are at least 15 fertiliser importing fertilisers from as far as India and China.
“This has put a lot of pressure on local fertiliser manufacturing firms. The competition is unfair because given the Zimbabwean economy, local companies cannot compete with global fertiliser manufacturing giants, said Chemplex chief executive Samson Kachere.
He however said there was enough fertiliser to sustain the next farming season.
“The national fertiliser consumption is around 350 000 tonnes per season, and Zimbabwe has more than that.
“So far fertiliser firms including traders have sold at least 150 000 tonnes of fertilizers. During the same periodlast year, around 200 000 tonnes of fertilisers were sold,” he said.
Kachere said the slow sales of fertilisers reflected the liquidity crunch in the economy as well as the stage of land preparations.
“We expect the sales to peak in December when the rains are projected to start. By then we expect that fertiliser sales will double,” he said.