NITROGEN Chemicals of Zambia ( NCZ) is seeking for moral support from stakeholders to persuade government to fully fund the fertilizer production industry this year.
Members of the National Union of Commercial and Industrial Workers at NCZ, are currently going around the country to talk to traditional leaders, farmer groups and concerned citizens to rally behind the company in persuading government to release funds for the production of fertilizer.
Vice Treasurer of the union Soka Nyirenda, during a walk-in interview with ZANIS in Chipata today, said government should fully fund NCZ because the company produces quality fertilizer compared to other countries.
Mr. Nyirenda said the general citizenry was concerned with the fertilizer which comes from outside the country because it was not known what effects the fertilizer would cause to soils in future.
Mr. Nyirenda who was flanked by NCZ Shop Steward, Allan Sinyinza, said production of fertilizer locally would ensure reduced prices of the commodity and also enable small scale farmers access it in good time.
He said NCZ was a complex plant in the sense that there were various factories within the same plant. Mr. Nyirenda said NCZ did not only produce fertilizers but also Sulphuric Acid, gases and explosive grades which were used in mines.
He said the equipment in the fertilizer plant only needed minor repairs and if government could fully fund the institution, it would go back on its feet to start full production of fertilizer.
Mr. Nyirenda observed that all along, NCZ had been running on funds borrowed from financial institutions to produce fertilizers, saying, the grants which it received from government was erratic.
He said government had been getting fertilizer from NCZ which it distributed to farmers on a subsidized price under the Fertilizer Support Program ( FSP) but had not paid back to the institution on time, making it fail to meet operational costs.