Nyiombo Investment has denied assertions that it is responsible for the delayed and chaotic distribution of fertiliser in the country stating that government had belatedly contracted the company this year to commence the distribution of Urea fertiliser.
Nyiombo Investment director Dr Maurice Jangulo said government was not being fair and truthful by accusing his company of delaying the distribution of fertiliser to farmers in the country.
And according to Ministry of Agriculture officials, Neria, the company that was contracted to distribute 10,000 tonnes of Urea fertiliser in Lusaka had faced logistical challenges prompting government to appeal to Nyiombo to assist because farmers were becoming desperate as the planting season was advancing..
After Nyiombo commenced the distribution exercise in Lusaka and having distributed over 2000 tonnes, government decided to cancel the contracted in a letter dated January 25th 2014 that was signed by deputy Minister Shawa.
“The issue of the delay of distribution of Urea fertiliser the deputy Minister of Agriculture was talking about only involved Lusaka. As Nyiombo Investment, we were given Southern; Copperbelt and North Western Provinces and the exercise in these provinces was under control. On January 19th, 2014, we were given Eastern Province and we immediately commenced distribution because we had stocks. However there were delays in Lusaka where a different company was contracted and government approached us to assist. Within 48 hours, over 2000 tons were distributed but we were surprised that after five days, we got a letter to stop the distribution and the tender was given to Neria,” Dr Jangulo said.
He told the Daily Nation that government only contracted Nyiombo to distribute fertiliser in Lusaka Province after Neria, the company that was initially awarded to supply fertiliser had failed to meet its target.
He explained that Nyiombo was given a target of 5700 metric tonnes of Urea fertiliser to distribute in Lusaka Province and that within two days; over 2000 tonnes had been accessed by farmers.Dr Jangulo said while the distribution exercise was going on in Lusaka, Government wrote to his company ordering that the distribution be halted with immediate effect and the contract was reverted to different supplier.
Dr Jangulo said his company was now concentrating in Southern, North Western, Central and Eastern Provinces and that within the next ten days, the distribution exercise of Urea fertiliser would have been completed.He said the distribution of fertiliser in this farming season would have been more chaotic had Nyiombo not held sufficient stocks adding that his company had demonstrated its commitment to serving the Zambian farming community. In December last year, Agriculture Minister Robert Sichinga accused Nyiombo Investments frustrating government efforts to transport Urea fertiliser from Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) via Dar es Salaam through a court process.