Moroccan company donates 15,000 tons of fertilizer to Rwanda | The new times

According to Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Moroccan company OCP Group has donated 15,000 tonnes of diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer, a development that will support the use of fertilizers in the country. and increase agricultural productivity efforts.

Mukeshimana made the observations on Saturday, July 16, during an interview with The New Times.

At the time of the interview, she was visiting the construction site of the fertilizer mixing plant in Bugesera district to assess its progress, along with other officials, including Mohamed Anouar Jamali, CEO of OCP Africa.

The OCP Group is one of the main exporters of phosphorus fertilizers in the world.

This contribution, she said, is important especially at this time when fertilizer costs are high, mainly due to two factors; the war between Russia and Ukraine and the rise in transport costs linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Russia and Ukraine are the main exporters of potash fertilizers. Their dispute sparked a rise in natural gas prices [one of the key ingredients in fertiliser manufacturing].

“We are fortunate that our friends at OCP have donated 15,000 tonnes of DAP fertilizer. It is something that is injected into the sector,” Mukeshimana said.

Of this committed quantity, Mukeshimana explained that 10,000 tonnes will be used as a strategic fertilizer reserve.

“That means we have a stockpile of fertilizer and whenever there is a need we may be able to inject it into the farming community,” she said.

For the remaining 5,000 tonnes, it said it would be free starting stock from the fertilizer blending plant to support the launch of its production of suitable fertilizers.

In addition, the OCP Group has committed to supplying Rwanda with an additional 17,000 tonnes of DAP fertilizer at a reduced price.

This is part of the Group’s initiative to empower African farmers and ensure African food sovereignty, the minister said.

“We believe that smallholder farmers are an integral part of the agricultural sector in Rwanda. With the repercussions of the war in Ukraine on fertilizer prices and the effects of the drought in East Africa, the situation is likely to be unbearable for small farmers and disastrous for food security,” said Mohamed Anouar. Jamali, CEO of OCP Africa.

“Our donation underlines our commitment to support the agricultural sector adjacent to our cooperative projects for which we hope to continue to obtain your support in their respective implementation,” he remarked.

According to prices announced in January this year by the ministry, imported DAP reached Rwanda at a price of Rwf 1,435 per kilogram (without the government subsidy of Rwf 603 or 42% of the cost).

Thus, the 15,000 tons (or 15 million kilograms) of DAP committed is worth about Rwf 21 billion.

During the current fiscal year, the RAB aimed to distribute at least 3,430 tons of quality seeds, 50,179 tons of fertilizer in the middle the rising cost of this agricultural inputas well as 37,736 tonnes of lime with government subsidy.

Meanwhile, average fertilizer use in Rwanda has risen from 32 kilograms per hectare in 2017 to 60 kilograms per hectare in 2021, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente told parliamentarians in April This year.

Fertilizer Blending Facility Update

Going back to the aforementioned plant based in Bugesera, its investment is estimated at 38 million dollars (about Rwf 39 billion) and it should have a capacity to mix 100,000 tons of fertilizer per year, according to data from Rwanda. Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board. (RAB).

It is a joint venture between the OCP group and the government of Rwanda.

“We hope that by May next year, we will launch it (the factory) and provide appropriate fertilizers according to the type of soils and the needs of the crops,” the minister said, indicating that it is in context. increase the country’s agricultural productivity.

Jamali said, “Our joint venture – Rwanda Fertilizer Company (RFC) – to manufacture blended fertilizers and our cooperation projects show our commitment to developing the agricultural sector.”

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