THE government has abolished the tender process for fertiliser importation in the country, thus opening doors for any trader, who intends to bring fertilizer into the country to have the opportunity.
This was stated by the Minister for Agriculture Prof Adolf Mkenda during a one-day working visit to the port of Dar es Salaam, yesterday.
He explained that the purpose of abolishing tender procedure was meant to increase competition among the business people, who import bulk fertiliser and thus impact the commodity price.
Prof Mkenda added that if there will be an increase in fertiliser importation in the country, there are possibilities for the fall in prices, which will significantly benefit the farmers. The move, he said will also consequently raise the demand of fertiliser uses in the country.
He said in the past, importers were required to submit their tender to the Tanzania Fertiliser Regulatory Authority (TFRA) before being offered an opportunity to supply fertiliser.
Every bidder was required to join the pre-qualification stage in which few companies are shortlisted. Minister Mkenda said that the tender procedure was pushing the fertiliser price up because those who won the tender influenced the price.
“We have removed the tender bidding procedure, to open the way for anyone who wants to bring fertilizer into the country to do so, all we need is the best fertiliser quality,” he said. Minister Mkenda also encouraged investors to build fertiliser factories to increase production in the country. He said establishment more factories will reduce the countries dependency on the importation of fertiliser.
He added that they are doing soil mapping nationwide, to know the suitability of fertiliser to use according to the area, so as to increase production. During a one-day working visit to the port of Dar es Salaam, Minister Mkenda had the chance to meet an expeditor from Export Trading Company Limited (ETG) Hasina Abdul.
She identified that among the challenges they face are infrastructures where they spend more than four hours moving from the port to Mbagala, where they do the packing.
She also applauded the port authorities for construction of new berths and enable larger ship to anchor at the port.
“I have never seen a ship before with fertiliser be given priority as it is happening now; in doing so, it reduces additional costs. We are also grateful that there is no more theft at the port. In the past when you offload fertiliser, you find it has been reduced, but now you get the load evenly,” she said.
Minister Mkenda addressed the challenges affecting fertiliser traders, where he noted that in order to ensure that the challenges of traders are addressed quickly, the government has already instructed the TFRA to begin issuing permits (Export Permit) directly through their authority without passing through the Ministry.
To increase efficiency, the permits will be issued online, and the Office of the Minister for Agriculture will be responsible for reporting on the implementation of permits by TFRA.
According to minister, the price of fertiliser in the world market has risen sharply, so the government is continuing its efforts to ensure that the price of fertilizer in the country remains affordable. He said that the importation of fertiliser has increased significantly in the country.