ZIMBABWE – The agrochemical company United Capital Fertilizer (UCF), a subsidiary of the Zambian industrial group Wonderful Group of Companies Limited, plans to inject US$700 million into the fertilizer sector in Zimbabwe in 2024.

The announcement follows a memorandum of understanding signed with local authorities as the country seeks to reduce its dependence on fertilizer imports.

In addition to its investment projects, the executive is establishing partnerships with local and foreign operators to strengthen the production capacity of local industry.

According to Huang Yaochi, general manager of Wonderful Group, this project will be launched at the beginning of the new year.

The project involves the construction of a compound fertilizer manufacturing plant at US$200 million while US$500 million will be allocated to the establishment of a second plant dedicated to the production of urea.

According to local authorities, this new investment should help strengthen the fertilizer production capacity of the local Zimbabwean industry in a context where domestic demand is around 600,000 tonnes per year.

The investment follows a recent move by Zimbabwe Phosphate Industries (ZimPhos), a division of Chemplex Corporation Limited, which announced plans to invest US$2.2 million towards the establishment of a granulation plant to ramp up basal fertilizer production in the country.

The investments seek to meet the executive’s target to meet sufficiency by 2025.

“By 2025 we should have enough capacity to satisfy at least the current demand, after that there are plans to further look into diversifying our operations and look into high analysis fertilizers into our mix of products,” said Mr. Philip Nyakudziwanza, ZimPhos general manager.

Data compiled on the Trade Map platform also indicates that the country imported nearly US$450 million worth of inputs into the international market in 2022.

For UCF, the investment in Zimbabwe is part of an expansion program in the southern African sub-region. 

Last May, it launched the construction of a new fertilizer manufacturing plant with a forecast production capacity of 480,000 tonnes per year in Lusaka for a total investment cost estimated at US$ 600 million.

The company already operates a fertilizer manufacturing plant in the Zambian capital with a production capacity of 300,000 tonnes per year to serve the local market and countries in the sub-region including Botswana, Namibia and Angola again.

For all the latest grains industry news from Africa, the Middle East, and the World, subscribe to our weekly NEWSLETTERS, follow us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.