RWANDA – A delegation of FOMI has met with Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) to discuss the prospects of conducting efficacy trials of FOMI products for analysis and farmers’ adoption towards establishing an organo-mineral fertilizers plant in Rwanda.

FOMI is a company based in Burundi and Tanzania, manufacturing organo-mineral fertilizers. Organo-mineral fertilizer is a fertilizer produced by adding some mineral components to the decomposed organic matter that has formed fertilizer.

After the meeting, the Director General of RAB, Alexandre Rutikanga said the next step is to assess what the firm produces and then proceed with laws that govern investments, standards, and imports of fertilizers.

He added that other procedures will be carried out by embassies as it is a foreign company, noting “they have to assess the performance, the quality and standards of the firm’s fertilizers and if they increase production before setting up the factory in Rwanda.”

According to Rutikanga, the report from embassies could help RAB and Rwanda Inspectorate, Competition, and Consumer Protection Authority (RICA) to be able to test samples and carry out trials on Rwandan soil to assess the fertilizers’ performance.

Once the team is convinced that the fertilizers have the right quality and increase production, then discussions on how the farm inputs can be locally produced will resume reducing imports, Rutikanga underscored.

While imported fertilizers prices have gone up, officials in Rwanda said local production could address the issue.

The government, in the 2022/2023 fiscal year, provided over Rwf30 billion to subsidize fertilizers following the rise in prices.

The investment discussions follow the announcement of reaching a deal between Tanzania and Morocco’s OCP Group in setting up a fertilizer factory in the municipality of Kisarawe.

Tanzanian news outlet the Citizen quoted Tanzania Fertilizer Company (TFC) General Manager, Samuel Mshote, saying: “As soon as we get the title deed, construction will start immediately. The construction of a facility on the 15-hectare land will help solve soil health problems.”

At the moment, Tanzania depends up to 90% on imports for its fertilizer needs, estimated at 430,000 tonnes per year.

Currently, the Tanzania Fertilizer Company (TFC), the main distributor of fertilizers in the country, is in the throes of a major financial crisis.

The Citizen reported that the Tanzanian government gave the Tanzania Fertilizer Company (TFC) US$48.223 million as capital, in a bid to revive the company and “ensure a sufficient supply of fertilizers at reasonably lower than market prices” but the Tanzanian minister of agriculture hinted that the company needs not less than US$361.67 million to be rescued.

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