The Tanzanian government has set new regulations for the importation and supply of cheaper fertilisers and appointed two firms to supply 55,000 tonnes of urea and diamonium phosphate.
The executive director of Tanzania Fertiliser Regulatory Authority, Lazaro Kitandu, told The EastAfrican that the government has issued permits for the importation of fertiliser through the Bulky Procurement System, which rids the process of middlemen.
The two, Moroccan company, OCP S.A and Tanzania’s Premium Agro Chem, won the tender.
Mr Kitandu said the first consignment is expected in early next month.
Under the new arrangement, the government has indicative prices by zone, region and stock point by means of transport.
The 50kg bag will sell between Tshs100,000 ($50) and Tsh52,000 ($26), he added.
The Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Dr Charles Tizeba said the new measures will regulate prices and boost agricultural production.
The fertiliser deal was agreed upon between King Mohammed VI of Morocco and President John Magufuli during the king’s tour of Tanzania last October.
Tanzania plans to build a $3 billion (Tshs6 trillion) fertiliser factory in partnership with German firm Ferrostaal Industrial Projects, Danish industrial catalysts producer Haldor Topsoe and Pakistan’s Fauji Fertiliser Company.
The factory will use natural gas in the manufacturing process. Natural gas is one of the hydrocarbon sources of ammonia, a key fertiliser ingredient.
The plant, expected to be commissioned in 2020, will be in southern Tanzania, close to large offshore gas plants. It will become Africa’s largest fertiliser producer with a capacity of 3.8 million tonnes per year.
Annual fertiliser consumption in Tanzania is 400,000 tonnes.