US$1 million fertiliser plant boosts production Minister Chombo

Herald Reporter

Zimbabwe’s fertiliser industry has received a major boost following the opening of a new state-of-the-art plant in Norton on Saturday with the capacity to produce close to 1 million tonnes of fertiliser each year.

The US$1 million investment marked a major milestone in the country’s efforts to enhance agricultural output and achieve food security. Zimbabwe had grappled with substantial fertiliser import costs, amounting to approximately US$800 million over five years.

The newly commissioned Fertop Agriculture fertiliser plant, which operates under Heliconvest Investment Private Limited and Moreharvest Compound, is expected to make a significant contribution in reducing the need for fertiliser imports.

Speaking on the sidelines of the commissioning, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development Permanent Secretary Professor Obert Jiri said the plant’s inauguration was timely as the country prepares for the winter season.

He highlighted the crucial role of fertiliser as a major input in agricultural production and stressed that the locally produced fertiliser would supplement existing stocks, ultimately reducing costs for farmers.

“The revival of our country’s agriculture sector and the restoration of its breadbasket status necessitate investments in local agricultural input production, ensuring accessibility to farmers at a lower cost. It is our mandate to ensure that the country produces fertiliser of a good standard and quality that farmers can use to ensure food security, food security every day, everywhere. I wish to see the Fertop Agriculture brand of fertilisers nationally,” said Prof Jiri.

With a daily production capacity of 300 tonnes, he said, Zimbabwe was poised to steer its agriculture sector in the right direction and ensure food security across the nation.

Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland West Marian Chombo hailed the new plant’s potential to enhance the province’s agricultural productivity.

“As you are aware, this province is known as Mash Best for its exploits in agriculture, this great investment will see us continue breaking new records in all crop  production. This is a testament of devolution which President Mnangagwa always talks about,” said Minister Chombo.

The plant would reduce agricultural production costs for farmers who used to travel to Harare for fertiliser.  Heliconvest business development manager Mr Gordon Tam expressed the company’s commitment to further invest in Zimbabwe’s fertiliser production.

“This plant is a collaboration between Heliconvest and Moreharvest Compound. We have already invested over US$1 million to ensure that we produce at least 300 tonnes per day and more is to be invested. For initial operations, we have employed more than 50 people but going forward we are expecting to increase the numbers, with people from the local community set to benefit from that,” said Mr Tam.

The current demand for fertiliser stands at 630 000 tonnes a year, including compounds, blends, and top dressing, with 330 000 tonnes for compounds and blends while 300 000 tonnes is for top dressing.

The Fertop Agriculture plant will manufacture a variety of fertilisers, including Compound S, Compound D, Compound C, Cereal and Cotton Double D Blends, Urea AN, and Calcium Nitrate.

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