No transparency in fertilizer supply

 No transparency in fertilizer supply

Socialist Party president Fred M’membe has charged that there are serious problems of lack of transparency and predictability in the whole fertiliser supply business.

Dr M’membe said if factors that have led to failure to supply people with fertilisers at the right time and in the needed quantities are not understood and resolved, the country will not see a reversal of fortunes in the agriculture sector.

He said there is a very serious lack of information by the Ministry of Agriculture on tenders for the 2022/23 farming season, which to a very large extent, led to the delay and the many serious hurdles in securing fertilisers.

“At a minimum, suppliers need four months to secure and deliver fertiliser into the country. This government, without explanation, cancelled the open tenders at the end of August and “secretly” awarded tenders thereafter.

Importers can only secure stocks of fertilisers after government determines its requirements and the financing arrangements governing the programme.And offtake of fertiliser on the open market will be low this season given the prices K1,200 for a 50 kg bag instead of the K250 per 50 kg bag they had promised our people currently facing the users, and as such this speaks to lower procurement forecasts for the open market as well. The consequences of this don’t require much disquisition,” he said.

Dr M’membe said if decisions were made in good time and tenders were awarded accordingly, the procurement of Urea may not have been as problematic as that of securing D-Compound.

Alice Nachilembe

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.