Chemical Fertilizer Prices Keep Soaring

By Vincent Nhlema

There is a global outcry. Fertilizer prices have gone through the roof. The situation has sent panic not only to farmers but to world leaders as well. There is panic about how national and global agriculture production will be affected. They fear it could lead to food shortage, pushing commodity prices further upward.

The situation is more worrisome in least developed countries like Malawi, where foreign exchange scarcity exacerbates the situation. In the past three years, Malawi has seen rapid price increase for fertilizer. To a greater extent, this has been attributed to disruption of production and supply chain, induced by Covid-19. Today, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine poses a bigger threat to the fertilizer industry. Russia tops fertilizer and natural gas (a major component in production of nitrogen-based fertilizer) exports but with sanctions and disrupted supply logistics due to the invasion of Ukraine, supply shortage is looming.