The procurement cost of Zambian fertiliser will continue to be high.
Yes, this is also why the cost of fertiliser in Zambia will continue to impact negatively on the food security. What makes it worse is the fact that a third of Zambias grain is grown by small scale and peasant farmers.
Indeed, it is estimated that on the world wide scale, one third of protein consumed by humans is directly dependent on fertilisers.
Lets look at the Zambian figures
As at 20th June 2008, Zambian Fertiliser Company was quoting a 50 kilogramme bag of Compound D at around K179, 000 and about K182, 000 for Urea.
As at January 2011, the figures on the market have jumped to K 230,000.000 and K 210,000.00 for Compound D and Urea respectively.
Despite the high price of the commodity, the country experienced shortages of the commodity in the early 2011 in the Northern districts!
This was reported in towns such as, Mpulungu, Mungwi, Mbala, Kasama and Mporokoso.
The Zambian Fertilliser Company imports raw materials which are blended locally for Compound D from countries such as Saudi Arabia while Urea comes as a finished product.
Zambias agriculture sector is largely composed of peasant and small-scale farmers who contribute three quarters of the countrys maize production.
Currently input prices have maintained an upward trend not only in Zambia but in the parts of the world where agriculture is very prominent.
Industry analysts have suggested that the cause of the current high prices results from the increasing demand due to high food prices. Another reason is that China recently imposed an export tariff, which effectively took 2.4 million tonnes of urea out of the word market.
The supply of phosphate is yet another issue. This product is sourced from Morocco and China, where the product is largely government controlled.
Early in 2008, agriculture expert Gerrit Struyf said the steep prices of inputs would make it very difficult for small-scale farmers to access sufficient fertiliser to grow their crops.
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