This was revealed by Agriculture deputy minister Hussein Bashe at the weekend as he was addressing fertiliser transporters.
He said the ministry plans to talk to Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) to reduce transport cost of the commodity from dealers to various areas in the country.
“We have had discussions with fertiliser importers and discussed various things, firstly to know how much fertiliser the country has during the month of July, who is importing how much so that we should not experience any kind of shortage,” Bashe said.
“In January I instructed TFRA to sit together with TRC and today I will meet with its Director General to discuss fertiliser transport cost as well as the availability of wagons,” he added.
He said due to fertiliser price rise at world market contributed by Covid-19 pandemic, also saw the input’s price increase in the country, thereby becoming a burden to farmers.
Citing examples, Bashe said DAP fertiliser was formerly being sold at USD 416 per tonne, but now the price is USD 650; while UREA that was being sold at USD 359 per tonne was now being sold USD 560 per tonne; whereas CAN was formerly sold at USD 274, was now being sold at USD 420 per tonne.
“We have also instructed TFRA and TARI to educate farmers on alternative fertiliser via TV programmes to enable farmers understand the usage of these fertilisers.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Bashe said the government will continue investing in research to increase the quality of locally produced fertiliser in order for the country to be self-sufficient in the in the farm input than solely depending on imports.
“In the coming two to three years local fertiliser production will be increased, we have the Minjingu company that had initially faced challenges which have now been solved,” he added.
He said through this fertilise producer, local production of the input could increase from the current 100,000 tonnes to 200,000 tonnes, adding that this could reduce the burden in regard to high cost of imported fertiliser.