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July 29, 2008

Zimbabwean fertiliser companies resume production

Windmill and the Zimbabwe Fertilizer Company, the country's giant fertilizer makers, have started production after receiving consignments of superphosphates, a key ingredient in the making of fertilizer.

Zimphos’ managing director, Mr Tapiwa Mashingaidze said they had supplied 1 000 tonnes of superphosphates so far which had already been dispatched to fertilizer companies. "We are working hard to ensure continuous supply of phosphates and very soon we will reach a situation where phosphates will cease to be the reason slowing down production," he said.

ZFC’s managing director Dr Richard Dafana confirmed receipt of the phosphates and said production of fertilizers has started. "We are currently warming up our machinery and we will start providing the product from the end of this week," he said.

Dr Dafana said the fertilizer was being manufactured on a toll-manufacturing basis with the entire product being handed over to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which in turn would be responsible for distribution.

The industry is expected to supply Ammonium Nitrate at a rate of 1 250 tonnes per week and 3 000 tonnes per week for Compound D.

The resumption of fertilizer production follows the release of US$10,1 million by the RBZ on June 5, 2008, which was used to procure raw materials from South Africa.

The industry is expected to roll out 25 000 tonnes of fertilizer against the US$10,1 million.

The country needs at least 560 000 tonnes to satisfy demand and this would require the industry to receive at least US$10 million every month to operate at full capacity and satisfy demand.

Fertilizer is a key component in the success of the agrarian reform and its unavailability on the market has caused some anxious moments for farmers.

The Herald

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