Government has dismissed a request by the Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company (ZFC) to lift an export ban on the commodity at a time local farmers are crying foul over the shortage of fertilisers.Â
The Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made told ZBC News that government will not allow the fertiliser industry to export the commodity as local farmers are grappling with shortages.
“They [ZFC] must supply the local demand first. If there was no demand, we would have considered their request but with the outcry that is there, I am sorry I will not be able to grant that authority,” said Dr Made.
Dr Made questioned the ZFCâ€™s intentions as government had imposed an export ban on fertilisers so as to protect local farmers who had for a long time been facing shortages of the commodity.
In its request addressed to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, ZFC suggested that it will export fertilisers of superior formulation of NPK ratio: 10.20.10 as compared to that being produced for the local market of NPK ratio: 7.14. 7.
However, Dr Made described the request as a deliberate ploy to condemn the local farmer to use inferior products while a superior formulation which saves cost and produces high yields is reserved for exports.