Monday, May 20, 2024

Government to purchase fertilizer for next harvest year


The Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Oumer Hussien told lawmakers that the ministry will purchase fertilizer for next year’s harvest to ensure farmers get it on time.
Although this is uncommon, it is being done because the supply chain is ineffective. Farmers’ productivity has been going down because fertilizer and other agricultural inputs are not being distributed on time. In some places even after the “Belg” seasons begins farmers don’t have what they need to plant.
According to the World Bank, over 70 percent of the households reported that fertilizer is often supplied late and around 40 percent of the households reported that supplies were inadequate. High prices and tight credit repayment schedules constrain fertilizer use.
Transportation cost is another major contributor to the high cost of fertilizers, there is seasonal variation of demand and there is lack of information and communication among stakeholders in the fertilizer supply chain.
State Minister, Sani Redi argues that low productivity increases fertilizer prices and that other factors remain constant.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, over half a billion USD has been used to buy 1.27 million tons of fertilizer. Currently, 49 percent has entered the country and the rest is expected to arrive by the end of May.
The country’s fertilizer supply has been increasing and Ethiopia has been importing more agricultural inputs. In 2017 the country spent 16 billion birr to purchase 936,430 tons of fertilizer of which 70 percent was bought from OCP, a Moroccan company.
The country had been using only dap and urea fertilizers which solely gives nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients. However, the Ministry is working to apply the fertilizers that almost incorporated the nutrients recommended by researchers including potash, sulfur, boron and zinc among others in accordance with the type of soil.
In Ethiopia over 95 percent of fertilizers are distributed by cooperative unions.
Six years ago the country attempted to manufacture 300,000 tons of Urea, 250,000 tons of DAP fertilizers, 20,000 tons of other fertilizers in Yayu Wereda, Illubabor zone of Oromia Regional State, the project failed.
Another joint venture agreement with OCP in Dire Dawa will began soon, according to the ministry.
“The Ministry is simultaneously working to save foreign currency along with delivering on time at a low cost,” said Oumar Hussein.

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