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November 19, 2007

Zimbabwe fertilizer imports arrive for farming season

The Zimbabwean government has taken delivery of over 200 000 tonnes of fertilizer, which is part of the 800 000 tonnes imported from China and South Africa in preparation for the 2007/8 farming season.

In an interview with the Herald Business this week the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mr David Chapfika said the fertilizer has already started trickling into the country whilst another batch is in transit.

"We have received part of the 800 000 tonnes of fertilizers imported from China to maximise agricultural production.

"Some of the fertilizers are at Beira Corridor waiting for delivery.

"We are delivering the commodity through the Beira- Corridor using train wagons, which is the most convenient way of ferrying the commodity into the country," said the minister.

He added that the ministry’s thrust is to ensure food security at household level.

The commodity is disbursed to farmers through GMB depots and operation Maguta, which is a strategic move aimed at ensuring the proper use of inputs.

Farmers have been urged to maximize the use of inputs to produce better yields.

"Fertilizers set for one hectare should not be applied for more than that, since this would reduce the quality of the grain ".

He said farmers should be geared for the coming season since the Government was putting maximum effort to ensure that 2007/8 season would be a success.

Norton GMB depot manager Mr Masauso Kampata confirmed receipt of the fertilizers.

"We have received compound D from Beira and more is still to come.

"We urge farmers from Zvimba, Mhondoro, Selous, and Chivero catchment area to collect their fertilizer for the forthcoming season," he said.

He continued, saying currently, some farmers are receiving fertilizer from the depot.

A survey conducted by the Herald Business yesterday revealed that some farmers from Mashonaland West province in areas like Chivero, Norton, Mhondoro, Selous and Zvimba were receiving compound D from GMB depot in Norton.

Reserve Bank governor Dr Gono has described the forthcoming agricultural season as the solution to Zimbabwe’s challenges.

"This farming season is going to be the ‘Mother of All Farming Seasons’. A mother symbolises stability, care and everything good about life. So we expect a good season".

The Herald

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