Fertilizer worth 55 billion birr is procured and loaded from a Moroccan port and is en route to Djibouti. The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) has already availed finance for the procurement.
Excluding shipping and other administrative expenditures, the government spent more than 50 billion birr last year on imported NPS, NPSB, and urea fertilizer. Although the forex allotted for this year procurement is almost the same as last year, it is twice what Ethiopia spent before the war between Ukraine and Russia started.
More than 14.5 billion birr was spent on administration, bagging costs, and shipping expenses combined. This is also a substantial growth in comparison to the amount of money that Ethiopia spent for similar purposes before the coronavirus came into the picture.
The pandemic quadrupled shipping costs worldwide and caused container shortages at important ports, notably China. For the fiscal year 2021–2022, the government acquired 12.8 million quintals of fertilizer.
About 2.1 million quintals of NPS fertilizers and 5.6 million quintals of NPSB soil fertilizers have been acquired for the current fiscal year. So far, the government has bought about 7.8 million quintals of NPS fertilizer, according to a data obtained from the Ethiopian Agricultural Works Corporation.
Additionally, urea fertilizer is currently being purchased. 29,450 quintals of NPS B (boron), which were purchased for the upcoming growing season, have left the port of Morocco.
The NPS fertilizer is supplied by the Moroccan firm OCP.
Four ships with 218,000 tons of NPS fertilizer are due at the port of Djibouti. Officials said the shipment has been made in consideration of prior procurement procedures and anticipated price increases.
The price of fertilizer has already increased dramatically by 200 percent compared to the cost before the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Authorities floated a tender four months ago, fearing a delay may cost more money as price is anticipated to increase in the months to come.
Farmers, who are already struggling to pay the skyrocketing prices of inputs necessary for cultivating crops, are worried by the price increase. To combat price increases, experts advise using natural fertilizers. In 2020–2021, Ethiopia produced 341 million quintals of grain.