Farmers to pay up for fertilisers due to demand

Higher demand for fertilisers have pushed up prices in Zambia.

A survey conducted by africanfarming.com revealed that a 50kg bag of D-Compound was sold at K290 from K270, while Urea had gone up to K270 from K235 since last week.

Dina Chembea, a small scale farmer from Mumbwa, 30 kilometers west of Lusaka, told africanfarming.com she travelled to Lusaka in search of fertilizer, because of the scarcity in her district.

“I went to several outlets before I found one where they had stock,” she said.

Mannix Muhango, from Bauleni in Lusaka, said he had been alerted about the short supply after his children made several unsuccessful trips to outlets in Lusaka.

“I understand the use of e-vouchers pushed up demand resulting in some queues, especially for top-dressing,” he said.

Government scaled up the e-voucher programme for the 2016/2017 farming season, targeting 602 521 farmers in 39 districts. It also signaled its intention to fully implement the programme in the 2017/2018 farming season.

However, the roll-out has been mired in delays.

Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa last week disclosed the delays were the result of a K400 million shortfall to sufficiently fund the e-voucher system.

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