Compound D Substitute Discovered In Zhombe

By Mark Mhukayesango

ZHOMBE-November 11,2015 Isiah Munetsi ,a communal farmer in Zhombe, Zibagwe Rural District has
for years struggled to raise enough money to buy farm inputs at the
onset of every rainy season, but his struggles for the past years are
over since an alternative for Compound D fertiliser has been found in
his area.
Commonly known as Mabura, bat droppings (Guano) have been identified
as a new alternative for the somewhat expensive Compound D , a
development that has brought joy among farmers here.
This discovery is also timely since the closure of Sable Chemicals,
Zimbabwe’s sole manufacturer who have been forced to operate below
capacity due to power challenges when the Kwekwe based company was cut
from the national power grid.
The huge Guano deposits stretch for 65 km in Zhombe and the Vungu RDC
has been courting investors to explore the vast bat droppings.
Speaking to Radio VOP, Munetsi said Guano will change the fortunes of
farmers if handled well by the council.
“This is an indigenous resource and we should use it wisely. We
therefore implore council to find a suitable investor so that we can
extract value from our own resource,” he said adding that Guano should
not be made expensive for the locals.
It has been proven that Guano is a endowed with phosphate and nitrate,
elements that are essential for plant growth.
Munetsi however blasted any political leadership greed in this project
,saying Guano should be beneficial to the local farmers.
“We know that if this project becomes successful , many people would
want to have a hand in it. As a community, we condemn such because the
locals are supposed to benefit,” said Munetsi.
Since news of the discovery of huge deposits of organic fertiliser,
dubious and shadowy elements have attempted to hijack the project.
Zibagwe Rural District Council Chief Executive Officer Farayi Machaya
said a number of investors are interested in the project.
“There are a number of investors who have shown interest in mining guano in
Zhombe’s Mabura caves. Attention has shifted to guano as an alternative to
compound D fertilizer following the closure of Sable Chemicals after it was
switched off from the national power grid,” said Machaya.
He could not be drawn to disclose the names of investors interested in
the project.
“We are optimistic that we will get a suitable investor soon and this
will go a long way in alleviating Compound D shortages in the
country,” he added.
As the 2015/16 farming season begins, farmers are making last gasp
purchase of farm inputs.
In 1991 the University of Guelph in Canada says over two million
tonnes of guano deposits were found at Mabura Caves ,but the deposits
have increased over the years.
Farmers have been extracting the Guano for use on their pieces of
land, but Chief Samambwa insists that they should pay tribute to
ancestral spirits.
“These caves are sacred and rituals have to be done to appease the
ancestral spirits or misfortune will befall such a person who
disregards spiritual authority,” said Chief Samambwa.
“This resource will uplift our community if those who extract the
droppings will abide by our rules. This is a gift from the gods and we
need to put it into correct use because they will not be happy with
us,” Chief Samambwa added.