Fertiliser, cement imports to continue


THE Government is keeping in place a special dispensation for importing fertiliser and cement to guarantee availability and affordability of the two critical commodities, a senior official has said.

To combat critical shortages and prevent price increases, the Government in November allowed imports of fertiliser and cement by traders and individuals until the end of 2023.

Amid renewed hopes for better-than-expected yields in agriculture, thanks to the rains, the Government’s decision to maintain the dispensation becomes timely.

The initial dry spell raised concerns about a potential decline in harvests for the 2023/2024 summer cropping season, but most parts of the country have been receiving rains since mid-December.

“We are not stopping fertiliser imports as the season looks much brighter than initially projected,” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Dr Thomas Wushe told The Sunday Mail Business last week.

He also said cement imports were continuing as the authorised amounts under previous permits haven not been exhausted.

“The permits haven’t been fully dispensed and imports are continuing,” added Dr Wushe.

“The cement supply situation is improving and we will continue to monitor local production in consultation with the local cement companies.”

Local firms are reportedly ramping up production.

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