Out of those, 20,000 tonnes are of Urea and 32,000 tonnes of Diammonium phosphate (DAP).
In a telephone interview with The Guardian yesterday, Agriculture Minister Charles Tizeba said in the case of DAP, 100,000 tonnes in total has been imported.
The DAP consignment will be offloaded in three instalments every month, with a relative drop in price, Tizeba explained.
“Farmers can feel assured that the government has imported huge fertiliser consignments to cover the whole of the next season. It started offloading on Wednesday this week,” he said.
The minister added that the government has procured only 20,000 tonnes of Urea due to its current high price in the global market.
More Urea will be imported later once the price becomes more favourable to bring relief to farmers, he stated.
“We need to import more fertiliser consignments to cover the whole of next season, and to campaign for the construction of more fertiliser storage facilities in rural areas,” he noted.
A couple of weeks ago (February 12), the government said the speed of fertilisers distribution to farmers in mainland Tanzania was encouraging as more than 50 percent had already reached their destinations.
Speaking in parliament, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the actual fertilisers demand was 485,000 tonnes, but up to February 1st a total of 250,000 tonnes had been distributed.
He called for an even faster distribution speed so that all fertilisers reach farmers in time to enable raised food production.
President Magufuli in January threatened to sack officials who continue to delay distributions of fertilisers to farmers in various regions for no plausible reasons.
He was quoted as saying that some regions like Mbeya - which is counted among the big four – had not received fertilisers since last year.
According to Tanzania Fertiliser Company (TFC) general manager Salum Mkumba, agents were required to sell fertiliser at between 26,000/- and 30,000/- per bag.
But some unfaithful agents have been selling subsidy fertilisers at higher prices due to a perceived shortage, he noted.