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Local fertiliser prices go up by over 70%; WFP says price spike to hit 2022/23 agricultural season

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By Lawrence Paganga 


THE prices of fertilisers have seen sharp increases of over 71%, a situation that is likely to negatively impact on the current winter cropping season and the 2022/23 farming season.

In a recent situation update, the World Food Programme (WFP) said the price of a 50kg bag of AN fertiliser increased by 71% to an average of US$94 by the end of June 2022 compared to US$55 during the previous cropping season.

Farmers are currently purchasing fertilizers and other chemicals for the winter wheat crop.

The increases have mainly been blamed on the current Ukraine/Russia conflict, which are the main global producers of fertiliser.

Local manufacturing companies have failed to meet demand,  citing lack of foreign currency to import raw materials required.

“Challenges being faced in accessing fertiliser mainly as a result of sharp price increases are likely to negatively impact production of the winter cropping season and the 2022/23 agricultural season,” the WFP said.

“The price of a 50kg bag of AN fertiliser increased by 71% to an average US$94 by end of June 2022 compared to US$55 during the previous cropping season.

The WFP added the price of basic commodities in Zimbabwe increased by an average of 31% in Zimbabwe dollar terms and decreased by 3% in US dollars when compared to May 2022.

“Inflation continued to escalate by 30.7% in June 2022. The Food poverty line and total consumption poverty line are reported to be increasing rapidly without a matching increase in incomes,  resulting in worsening vulnerabilities and food insecurity.”

It said the recent lifting of import duties on prioritized basic food and non-food commodities in response to emerging shortages will cushion some household groups, but access for poorer households will likely remain constrained.

“Although the ZIMVAC RLA 2022 (Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee) indicates slight improvements in the food consumption patterns, it also projects deterioration of food security situation in the country, as measured by access to cereals, from 27% in 2021 and 38% during the peak hunger period i.e. January to March 2023,” added the WFP.