ZAMBIA – Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has approved two organic fertilizer blending plant projects with total investment values of US$2 million and US$1 million respectively in Chilanga, Lusaka.
Speaking to Zambia Monitor, ZEMA acting Director General, Maxwell Nkoya, said the decision was as per the Environmental Management Act No. 12 of 2012 and the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Regulations, Statutory Instrument No. 28 of 1997.
“The two projects are both proposed to be set up in Chilanga District of Lusaka Province by Malcut Investments Limited and Golden Horse Investments at a total cost of US$ 2 million and US$ 1 million respectively,” he said.
Nkoya said the fertilizer projects are aimed at producing fertilizer from organic material such as chicken manure, vegetative waste, black soil, molasses, and sawdust.
He noted that organic fertilizer production would service local farmers and contribute towards the government’s efforts to provide cheap and readily available fertilizer for the agricultural sector.
The move comes after the Zambian President, Hakainde Hichilema recently officiated the construction of a US$600 million Urea and ammonia plant at the United Capital Fertilizer Zambia Company Limited in Lusaka’s Chilanga district.
With a production capacity of 480,000 tonnes of fertilizer per year, primarily 300,000 tonnes of urea, and 180,000 tons of ammonium, the investment aimed to cut the importation of fertilizer and reduce the local cost.
According to Nkoya, these two investments will service local farmers as the agency contributes to the government’s efforts to provide cheap and readily available fertilizer for the agricultural sector.
“Zambia’s economy is predominantly driven by the agriculture sector and efforts to supplement government’s initiatives have the potential to contribute to food security,” Nkoya said.
Nkoya said the environmental assessment process was participatory and, therefore, the decisions of the Agency were enhanced by the valuable input of the stakeholders.
“ZEMA remains devoted to public service as we manage our environment for a secured future,” he said.
Zambia has been importing its bulk fertilizer to meet its growing land under cultivation. However, prices of the essential commodity had escalated following the depreciation of the local currency, contributing to skyrocketing food prices.
According to the ministry data, the country consumes between 300,000 and 400,000 tonnes of fertilizer per year.