Power and Politics

President Hichilema faults importation of fertilizer from outside Africa, calls for more local investments


President Hakainde Hichilema says African countries like Zambia should invest more in their fertilizer production capacities using the raw materials available on the continent.

Hichilema said investments in fertilizer production capacities should be supported with mobilization of affordable capital which remains vital for the continent.

The Head of State said this during the Africa Fertiliser and Soil Health Summit in Kenya’s Capital, Nairobi.

He said it was pointless for African countries like Zambia to continue placing their purchase orders of the commodity outside the continent when they have capacity.

“A number of African countries are still placing orders to purchase fertilizer from outside the continent. It means we are failing to to support the investments we have within the continent,” Hichilema noted.

The Head of State warned of serious consequences on African countries such increment in food prices like the case of fuel if appropriate investments were not made.

He also called for the investment in appropriate technologies and increase trade within member states as one way of supporting the agriculture sector and increasing production among farmers.

“In the past most of our countries although we are pushing to increase the quantum of fertilizer we apply, the 50Kg, it is true that we have been applying fertilizer but also inappropriate fertilizer,” Hichilema stated.

Read More: Firm reportedly under investigation for allegedly selling expired fertilizer to farmers in Chongwe

He noted the need to make available affordable Fertiliser to farmers because failure to do so would defeat the purpose of having a food secured continent and result in the increase of food prices.

“There is no point in making fertiliser available if it’s not made affordable to the farmers because we will not achieve the intended purpose for vulnerable families, which is food security,” the Head of State said.

Hichilema emphasized the need to conduct thorough soil testing, research and development of varieties that need to be treated differently.

He noted the need for governments and the private sector to come together and address the challenges faced by farmers imposed by legal frameworks and regulations.

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