The Executive Director of the Tanzania Fertilizer Regulatory Authority (TFRA) Stephan Ngailo has recently announced the government’s plan to ensure that fertilizers are available throughout the country so that farmers can get them on time.
While inspecting fertilizer godowns in the Ruvuma region, he explained that all types of fertilizers—DAP, Urea, SA, and NPK–will be available in all the country’s breadbasket regions, namely Ruvuma, Iringa, Njombe, Mbeya, Songwe, and Rukwa.
Right now (November 2020) they have secured 60% of the country’s fertilizer demand, and plan to reach 80% between February and March 2021, Ngailo told.
The use of fertilizers in Tanzania is extremely low and remains below the recommended rates, contributing to poor crop yields.
High prices inhibit access to fertilizers by small scale farmers (SSF), given that 90% of all fertilizers are imported and their price is high.
This is why the Ministry of Agriculture of Tanzania introduced in 2017 the fertilizer bulk procurement system (FBPS) to lower retail prices and enhance access to and increasing the use of fertilizers.
Through these regulations, all importers submit their requirements to TFRA. A tender is announced and one prequalified successful bidder imports all the fertilizer on behalf of others using his own source of funds.
Another challenge to the use of fertilizers is their perceived quality. According to the study titled “Misperceived Quality: Fertilizer in Tanzania”, Tanzanian farmers suspect that available fertilizers are often adulterated, but these concerns are not backed by reliable evidence.
The study found that Tanzanian farmers are willing to pay considerably less for untested fertilizers in the market than they are for lab-certified fertilizers.