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Firm roots more use organic fertilizers

According to one of them, the Guavay Company Ltd product has a big price comparative advantage over chemical fertilizers, especially imported ones.

   Azalia William, who is also the company’s Brand and Marketing Director, says the other competitive edges of Hakika organic fertilizer, which is made from organic waste, are its ability to help farmers promote sustainable agriculture, enable the country to save foreign currency and increase crop yields by up to 25 per cent.

   Currently a 50-kg bag of the organic brand fetches 30,000/- compared to between 58,000/- and 60,000/- for the same amount of imported urea. The same weight of locally produced chemical fertilisers are sold between 30,000/- and 58,000/-.

   William told The Banker that the retail price of a kilo of Hakika is 600/- while the 25-kg bag costs 25,000/-. He said the plant officially started production in August 2015 and currently produces 45-50 tonnes per month, which is below the installed capacity.

   “The production is still low because many farmers are not aware of our product,” the official said noting that this is despite efforts and investment to promote and market it.

   William said their promotion and marketing initiatives have included use of social media and the internet, participation in national exhibitions and trade fairs such as Nane Nane, and Saba Saba, attending sectoral workshops and conferences as well as sales drives in different parts of the country.

   He said the company has to date sold more than 100 tonnes of Hakika in various parts of the country. Guavay produces the fertiliser at Gongolamboto-mwisho in Dar es Salaam using poorly disposed organic waste from food markets and residential areas in the city.

   “We decided to invest in the production of this fertiliser after discovering that 95 per cent of imported fertilisers are more expensive for many smallholder farmers in Tanzania to afford,” William told The Banker in a recent interview.

   He said apart from supplying the domestic market, the target is also to export Hakika when local demand is met. The investment was also prompted and supported by availability of huge amounts of organic waste in Dar es Salaam.

      William said that about 70 per cent of settlements in the city are informal with poor waste disposal facilities. According to him, the city produces more than 2,000 tonnes of waste per day of which 60-70 per cent is organic.

   Prior to putting up the plant, the company that currently employs 10 people, undertook a study in 2014/15 in 10 regions, including Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Arusha to ascertain the viability of the business. Its officials also visited several countries, namely France, UK, South Africa, Netherlands, Kenya, Uganda, Finland, German and Sweden, to learn tricks of the game.

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