IFDC Report, Volume 6, No. 3

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This report presents the findings of an appraisal conducted by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) team at the request of the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe. The group visited Zimbabwe from June 5-15 to gain firsthand insights into the country's fertilizer industry and assess potential alternatives. The report provides an overview of Zimbabwe's agricultural sector, comprising commercial agriculture and tribal trust lands (TTLs). It highlights small-scale farmers' challenges in the TTLs, including low input and production levels, limited infrastructure, and population growth. The team observed that a significant portion of land in both commercial and TTL sectors remains underutilized. Introducing irrigation in low-rainfall areas could significantly enhance agricultural productivity and support a larger population. However, Zimbabwe stands out as one of the few African countries currently capable of feeding itself and exporting crops. The country's soils are suitable for cultivating a wide variety of high-yielding crops, and approximately 75% of the population directly or indirectly relies on agriculture for their livelihoods. During their visit, the IFDC team interacted with various stakeholders, including Chief Seke and saving clubs in Seke TTL. They also visited commercial farms and fertilizer companies, noting the well-managed practices, advanced technologies, and high yields achieved on these farms. The report emphasizes the growing demand for fertilizers, surpassing local production capacities in recent years. While Zimbabwe has been self-sufficient in superphosphate and ammonium nitrate production, fertilizer imports have accounted for significant consumption. The report stresses the need for substantial investment in expanding local fertilizer production to reduce reliance on imports. Furthermore, the report suggests developing a long-term fertilizer sector plan that aligns with Zimbabwe's agricultural goals. It also proposes low-capital interim projects to address immediate needs. The absence of distributors and dealers is highlighted, as fertilizers are sold directly to farmers at factory gates, with cooperatives financing purchases. The findings of this report provide valuable insights into Zimbabwe's fertilizer industry and its growth potential. They serve as a foundation for further discussions and actions to enhance agricultural productivity, ensure food security, and promote sustainable development in Zimbabwe.
Briquettes, Coconuts