22 September 2010 | Nick Martindale
Buyers of agricultural produce in Zimbabwe could benefit from greater supplies if the government presses ahead with plans to co-ordinate the purchase of seeds and fertiliser for the 2010-11 harvest.
The government is believed to have set aside $10 million to finance the procurement of these goods, with products being sourced locally as well as imported from countries including South Africa and China.
Nyasha Chizu, CIPS branch chair for Zimbabwe, said the move could ensure greater supplies on the local market for farmers and other buyers.
The country’s economic situation and a lack of investment in facilities meant that local manufacturers could not meet demand, she added.
But she warned that imports were not without risk. “The challenge is that the imported products are normally designed for conditions in the country of origin, which might not suit Zimbabwe,” she said.
“Seed varieties, in particular, are designed in terms of the length of the wet season. Zimbabwe has a variety of short-season and low-season seeds.”
She also warned that supply could be affected if imports did not arrive in time for the start of the new farming season.