By Lumbiwe Mwanza

THE allocation of some tonnage of fertiliser to be supplied by certain companies will disadvantage the rest of us and this will render the whole process an academic exercise, some agro dealers have complained.

The Agri Business Association of Zambia (ABAZ) claims that bidding in the procurement of 120,380.25 metric tonnes of Urea fertilizer for the 2023-2024 farming season will not be fair because the Government has already allocated some tonnages to certain companies to Supply D compound.

Speaking to The Scoop, ABAZ president Mary Tembo says as much as the advertisement seems to be promoting fair play for all stakeholders to participate, fairness in this process will be farfetched.

“They have already done the single-sourcing in the sense that they have allocated certain tonnages to companies to supply D compound so even as we go into other tendering, it will not be fair because Government already knows who will supply what, meaning, it will not be fair” Ms.  Tembo complained.

She maintains that even if the Government wants to be efficient in the coming season unlike the chaos that characterised the current one, the process has already been sabotaged through purposeful or inadvertent single-sourcing.

She also says the Government has not written or opened up to agro dealers which E-voucher areas the local agro dealers will supply.

“When it comes to E- voucher areas, they have not opened it up to us to say we are going to supply these areas. it is just hearsay; we need to be written to by the Government as an association so that we bring our members together then brief them on the Government’s decision but there has been no communication,” Ms. Tembo said.

Meanwhile, Chief Chanje of the Chewa Speaking People in Chipangali District has commended the Government for the timely planning of the procurement of fertilizer for the 2023-2024 farming season saying delays in the distribution of fertilizer has had a negative impact on crop yields.

The traditional leader says currently, this year’s projected harvest is low due to delayed distribution of fertilizer among other things and that early planning would have secured the country’s food basket.

“We can only thank the Government for its efforts in advertising for the procurement of fertilizer for the next agriculture season. This will help address hunger challenges in the country,” Chief Chanje said.

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