Prices of fertiliser have skyrocketed fuelled by supply shortages triggered by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, threatening the 2022/23 cropping season, a World Food Programme (WFP) report shows.
Russia and Ukraine are among the biggest producers of fertiliser in the world. But, trade between the two European countries and the rest of the world has been severely disrupted largely due to the war.
The price of compound D has risen 46% to ZWL$46 082 per a 50kg bag from ZWL$31 500/ 50kg two three months ago while AN fertiliser also surged by 25% to ZWL$56 688/50kg from ZWL$45 500/ 50kg in November last year.
“…..The price of Compound D (fertiliser) increased by 46% to ZWL$46,082/50kg in December from ZWL$31,500/50kg in November 2022, while the price of AN fertilizer increased by 25% to ZWL$56,688/50Kgs from ZWL$45,500/50Kg.
“When compared to the same time (in 2022) , the prices of the two commodities increased by 821% and 530% respectively,” reads part of the report.
The Zimbabwe National Farmers Union chairman Stewart Mubonderi told Business Times that farmers could suffer a huge setback due to exorbitant prices of fertiliser, calling for the government to intervene and rescue farmers.
“The crops across the country is excellent and we are heading towards a bumper harvest but we might suffer a huge setback if fertiliser prices remain this high.
“The government should intervene and rein in profiteering shops who continue with a wanton increase of prices at the expense of farmers,” Mubonderi said.
The Tobacco Farmers Union vice president Edward Dune weighed in saying: “Government should come up with several policies that encourage farmers to continue producing as current policies discourage production. We have a larger hectarage with self-financing farmers and with that in mind, fertiliser costs should be reasonable to assist farmers.”
Crop condition in the northern parts of the country was mainly average and mediocre in the southern parts.
The government distributed approximately 66% of maize seed and 88% of basal fertiliser targeted under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme which targets mainly rural communal farmers.
The government estimates a 63% increase in the area planted under maize and is targeting a production of 3m tonnes of maize.