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Nigeria concludes plan to import 105,000 tonnes of potash from Russia, Canada

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In the bid to address the shortfall in output from its fertilizer plants, Nigeria has concluded plans to import 105,000 tonnes of potash, a fertilizer raw material.

The raw material will be imported from Russia and Canada on June 3 and June 6 respectively.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji, made the disclosure during a ministerial press briefing on Thursday, May 26, at State House, Abuja.

The NSIA negotiates imports of raw fertilizer materials like potash as part of the Nigerian government’s programme to develop its capacity to produce blended fertilizer.

 “We have a total of 105,000 metric tonnes of potash coming into the country. Subsequently, more supplies will come from Russia because it saves us time for the vessels to come in than from central Canada. Orji said,

“Nigeria plans to buy 35,000 tonnes from Russia with a June 3 delivery date. The rest is due to come from Canada on June 6.’’

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has set off a chain reaction in the global economy which has negatively been impacting even developed countries. Nigeria had to import emergency supplies of potash from Canada in April after the country’s inability to get the fertiliser from Russia due to the impact of Western sanctions against Russia.

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Farmers lament as wild fire, heat waves cut grain harvest in Tunisia

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Farmers union in Tunisia has forecasted that output will fall well short of government hopes following heat waves and fires that are badly damaging the country’s grain harvest.

Farmers union official Mohamed Rejaibia, pointing to fires that began raging over much of the country last month, said that was no longer possible.

“The grain harvest will not be more than 1.4 million tonnes,” said Rejaibia, a member of the union’s executive office. “Some of it will be lost to fires and some perhaps during collection.”

The North African country has struggled with food importation costs driven higher by the war in Ukraine. That is largely because Ukraine and Russia account for a great amount of the global supply for grains, particularly wheat.

Earlier this month, agriculture minister, Mhamoud Elyess Hamza forecasted the 2022 grain harvest would reach 1.8 million tonnes, that is 10% up from last year’s harvest.

Wild fire has had a devastating effect in Tunisia. According to a statement released by the Tunisian Federation of Insurance Companies (FTUSA), the insurance industry in the country paid fire insurance claims totalling TND25m ($8m) in 2015 and the quantum jumped over the years to TND107m in 2020. That represented an average increase over 30% a year.

Another farmer, Abderraouf Arfaoui, in Krib, revealed that most of his colleagues had to harvest their grains earlier than usual.

“Usually we begin the harvest season in July, but this year we started on June 18… we are afraid of fires. We must watch our land day and night.

“We must harvest without waiting, even if that reduces the quantity and quality of the wheat, and when we finish the harvest we must watch our haystacks, too.”

 According to Thinkhazard, wildfire hazard is classified as high with more than a 50% chance of encountering weather that could support a significant wildfire that is likely to result in both life and property loss in any given year.

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Zimbabwe’s central bank raises key rate to 200%. Will that help its inflation surge?

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Zimbabwe’s economic woes continue as the Southern African country’s central bank said it was raising its key rate to 200 percent.

The decision makes Zimbabwe’s rate the highest in the world as it battles with soaring inflation persist. The rate was last raised to 80% in April from 60%.

The central bank a statement said it had more than doubled the rate in the push to try to contain inflation, which has been further aggravated by the war in Ukraine, expressing “great concern”.

The key rate is the interest rate at which banks can borrow when they fall short of their required reserves. They may borrow from other banks or directly from the Federal Reserve for a very short period of time.

According to thecentral bank governor, John Mangudya,rising inflation has depressed demand and consumer confidence and if left unchecked will wipe out the significant economic gains made over the past two years.

Zimbabwe’s economy is in deep crisis, including a withdrawal of international donors because of unsustainable debt with inflation rate in Zimbabwe averaging 80.42 percent between 2009 and 2022.

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