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Omnia sees Africa increasing farm input support amid food security fears

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Farm, Vioolsdrift, Northern Cape, South Africa
Picture: through Flickr

June 20 (Reuters) – Fertilizer producer Omnia Holdings OMNJ.J says African governments are rising help for smallholder farmers amid fears that enter prices, pushed greater after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, may minimize crop manufacturing and worsen meals insecurity.

Omnia provides fertilizer to each industrial and smallholder farmers in a number of sub-Saharan African international locations, together with South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.

The battle between Russia and Ukraine, main fertilizer exporters, has accelerated value will increase first triggered by COVID-19-induced provide chain disruptions. Based on Omnia, costs of fertilizer enter supplies have gone up by between 200% and 400% since January 2021.

Help companies have warned that rising enter costs may power Africa’s smallholder farmers to scale back plantings of staple grains reminiscent of maize, worsening a meals disaster in a area the place hundreds of thousands have already been plunged into excessive poverty by COVID-19, armed conflicts and local weather shocks. Learn full story

Omnia Holdings chief govt officer Seelan Gobalsamy instructed Reuters in an interview that fears of fertilizer shortages because of the battle have been driving demand forward of the planting season.

“We see governments, international locations the world over caring about meals safety. Everyone desires safety of provide of fertilizer and that drives up costs, it additionally raises issues about meals safety within the coming interval,” Gobalsamy mentioned.

“What we’re seeing is much more help from governments for the smaller farmers, to assist these farmers as a result of they’ve two roles – a subsistence position and a industrial position,” he added, referring to African governments.

On Monday, Omnia reported 21.437 billion rand ($1.34 billion) revenues within the full yr to March 31, a 30% improve in comparison with the identical interval final yr, pushed by greater commodity costs and gross sales. Headline earnings per share – the primary revenue measure in South Africa – have been 86% up at 6.72 rand in comparison with final yr.

($1 = 16.0023 rand)

(Reporting by Nelson Banya, Enhancing by William Maclean)

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