Addressing the press yesterday in Dar es Salaam, TFRA Managing Director Dr Stephan Ngailo, said that currently there are only 13 local and foreign firms that are officially producing the product which its capacity is yet not to meet the required demand.
Dr Ngailo said that from the year 2017 to 2020 the regulatory body has spent 1.6trillion/- in importation of fertilizer. If investments are drawn from both local and foreigners the money spent on the vice will be reduced to a reasonable magnitude.
“We are targeting at attracting more firms and businesses to invest in the fertilizer production so that competitiveness is strengthened and as result there will be reasonable prices on the market that are likely to benefit the final consumers.
Speaking prior to Dr Ngailo, TFRA's Board of Directors Chairperson, Prof Anthony Mshandete said that the minister of Agriculture Prof Adolf Mkenda had visited the authority this Monday and issued a number of directives that must be seriously considered to attract more foreign firms and businessmen take part in the fertilizer production.
Prof Mshandedte said the minister had ordered the authority to extend the deadline for opening this year’s fertilizer importation and supply tenders to July 8 from the previous that was set for June 18.
The intention of the time extension is to attract more participants from local and foreign countries thus boosting competitiveness that will lead to affordable prices for the final consumers.
“The minister has directed that the tender advert should be submitted to embassies especially of the countries that are well established in fertilizers production through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Community for the purpose of attracting participants and firms from Russia, China, Saud Arabia, Qatar, Morocco, Ukraine and Turkey,” said Dr Mshandete.
According to him, the tender advert should also be submitted to Tanzania's embassies in the countries where fertilizers are produced the most so that ambassadors can take part in convincing new investments to the country. TFRA has also been directed to collaborate with existing firms from its database in attracting bulk procreaters.
“Demand for fertilizer had been growing year in year out as of 2017/18 demand for fertilizer stood at 485,000 tons while in 2020/21 stood at 719,051. However, from this demand about 90 percent of it is being imported and the rest being produced locally,” he affirmed.
Acceding to him, in making the mission of increasing fertilizer production a reality, TFRA has invested in a number of initiatives that involves increasing the efficiency of the fertilizer bulk procurement system that caters three approaches, The approaches are pre-qualification stage that involves identification of qualified importers who can be featured in the bulk procurement system.
He said the second approach involves consultation of the business community and cooperative unions so that they submit their fertilizer demands and the third process is advertising the tender where the qualified firms are listed at TFRA's database.