Zimbabwe has softened some restrictions on crop nutrients and agro-chemical imports as local producers are having a hard time to meet demand. In June last year, Zimbabwean government adopted SI 64 which saw a removal of about 100 products, including fertilizer, from the open general license to promote the consumption of Zimbabwean products but local producers are failing to access adequate raw materials because of the urgent shortage of the domestic currency.
Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mike Bimha, said in a statement that the government would let companies and individuals with access to free funds to buy crop nutrients and agro-chemicals abroad as preparations for the upcoming agriculture season. “To avoid dumping of substandard and unsuitable products, all importers will be expected to comply with the prescribed rules and regulations which are available from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development,” he said.
Zimbabwe needs almost 250 000 tons of ammonium nitrate and a similar quantity of compound fertilizers each summer cropping season. In October, Alvin Mashingaidze, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Fertilizer Manufacturers’ Association (ZFMA), told a local paper that the country needs about $120 million to guarantee sufficient supplies for the 2017/2018 cropping season.