Farmers in Zimbabwe say they are experiencing an acute shortage of fertilizer, NewsDay reports.
One Bulilima farmer told the publication:
“We risk experiencing acute food shortages due to inadequate fertilisers. Government should urgently import fertilisers to avert the disaster. If no measures are put in place, farmers risk producing poor yields,”
Another farmer in from Chirumanzu said:
“The crops are at wilting stage. We are appealing to government to provide us with AN fertiliser as soon as possible. We only received 43% of AN, of which it’s not enough.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union commented on the issue:
There has been a shortage of AN fertiliser in the market, and this is mainly due to the supply and geopolitical issues happening in Eastern Europe. The prices are also out of reach because there is more demand. Farmers are failing to access fertiliser, but alternatively we are urging them to use urea fertiliser to avoid the disaster.
Farmers must also use organic fertilisers. With the current crisis, farmers must take this opportunity to use other alternatives which helps to recondition the soil and improve its fertility. Every season we have challenges with AN fertiliser and there is demand during this time. So farmers should learn to use other alternatives rather than wait for the key fertilisers.
Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka commented:
“Government is expecting 80 000 metric tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate. We have so far received 43 000 metric tonnes and we are hurrying the importation of AN. We are also activating the local supply, and so I expect that there will be an accelerated delivery of AN here in four or five days of the additional AN that is required.”
Zimbabwe is in the middle of its maize agriculture season and the crop typically requires Ammonium Nitrate fertilizer during this time. Maize is the staple of the country and is farmed by the majority of the farmers.