Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) which was contracted to distribute over 96,000 tonnes of compound D fertiliser under the government subsidy programme is expected to complete the exercise mid next month.

Government, through the farmer input support programme (FISP) will distribute the fertiliser to small-scale farmers in readness for the 2016/17 farming season.

In an interview recently, NCZ chief executive officer Zuze Banda said out of the total contract, the company has dispatched 72,000 tonnes of fertiliser to 51 districts out of 64 countrywide.

Mr Banda said the distribution exercise, which started in July this year, is expected to be completed by October 15.

He also said NCZ is expected to offload over 50,000 tonnes of fertiliser on the open market following the upgrade of the plant.

“There is no need for other players to import fertilisers as all they need to do is place their orders with the company and we will supply to them…The plant has since been upgraded to a capacity where the national demand can be met by NCZ alone,” Mr Banda said.

On the production target, he said NCZ is expected to produce 200,000 tonnes of fertiliser this year, which will be the highest in the history of the company.

The high production levels which started in the 2013 can be attributed to upgrade of the plant, which is producing compound D fertiliser from an annual production figure of 142,320 tonnes to more than 400,000 tonnes.

Reacting to the presidential pronouncement to declare Kafue an economic zone, Mr Banda said it is a welcome move which will grow the economy of the district.

Mr Banda said this will result in various industries being established in Kafue thus increasing the districts and the country’s revenue base and also stabilising the local currency.

“I see an opportunity for NCZ to supply oxygen and nitrogen gases to the Kafue Steel plant and that will help us create more jobs for our youths,” he said.