Statutory instrument 64 (SI 64) of 2016 has positively impacted the fertiliser manufacturing industry which has attracted increased investment since 2016 with four players expanding their production plants.

The sector’s production capacity has risen to 40 percent from 25 percent in 2017 while new players have come on board.

Fertiliser industry spokesperson, Mr Tapuwa Mashingaidze told the ZBC News in the past year there has been additional investment in blending plants which signaled long term commitment to participating in the industry.

There have been quite a few, not necessarily very new players but additional investment in especially blending plants.

At least four blending plants have been in the last year or so partly in response to SI 64 and everyone expected that we should be producing more locally and what we really need to import are the raw materials rather than the finished products in order to supply the market.

Of course, there is more NPK production that has been established perhaps more of the imports should be in the form top dressing, urea, to supplement the local production.

Some of the new market players comprise Nufert Division of Origen Corporation which invested half a million dollars in July 2016 for its new fertiliser blending plant in Mt Hampden.

The plant has a capacity to produce 200 to 300 tonnes of fertiliser per day.

FSG invested US$1 million in a new blending and granulating plant in Bindura increasing production from 300 metric tonnes to 1 200 metric tonnes per month and employment from 50 to 300 workers.

Products such as urea and ammonium nitrate, compounds and blends were removed from the open general import licence under SI 64 that manages imports.