By Daniel Chigundu
Fertilisers Seed Grain (FSG) says it has never failed to deliver on fertiliser contracts that it got from the government programs adding that they even have signed delivery documents to prove it.
There are allegations that some companies contracted to supply seed and fertiliser under the Presidential Input Scheme and the Command Agriculture Scheme have been failing to honour their contracts despite being paid.
The allegations emanate from the failure by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands to account for close to US$3 billion which was allegedly released to them by treasury under the Command Agriculture funding scheme.
However, in an interview during a plant tour by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Land, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement FSG managing director Steve Morland said the fact that they continue to get contracts is evident that they are a trusted supplier.
“Whatever contract we get we produce and supply 100 percent we have a record of that and that is why we are used a supplier and you can see around there is a lot of raw materials there is a lot of production going on.
“We have our daily records everything is here the trucks when they come they go through a weighbridge and also when they are going out.
“When we finish a contract we do our reconciliation together with the receiving parties GMB, COTTCO or whoever they may be and we get everything signed off and we also get the documentation at the end of the contract,” he said.
According to Morland, the company has been contracted to supply about 63 000 tonnes of compound D and 63 000 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate this season and their production is currently at 600 tonnes per day adding that they hope to ramp it to about 900 tonnes.
The company’s biggest challenge has been accessing foreign currency to buy raw materials which are bonded in warehouses at the company’s manufacturing plant and are only released upon payment of the scarce currency which comes in the form of 180-day letters of credit from commercial banks.
FSG requires about US$10million per month to effectively produce on its contract usually between August and February which are the agricultural peak periods
“A lot of raw materials here are under collateral management or under bank finance and as we get the forex we then get it released so the benefit is that we have it here on sight and we can immediately start to put it into production but definitely forex is a problem,” he said.
Meanwhile, FSG managing director has reiterated that his company has no relationship with any funeral company adding that the Ministry of Finance officials were mixing them up with another company.
“They mixed us up with a company that deals in funerals I think the company is called Funeral Services Group or something and they are part of ZIMNAT and they have got nothing to do with us and as you can see very clearly this is a fertiliser company,” he said.