Fertilizer is in short supply across the world, and global prices have skyrocketed, in part because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. "I used to buy fertilizer for about $25 [£20] per 50kg bag in 2019," one tomato grower from the northern Arusha region reports. "But the same bag now goes for almost double that price. It is extremely expensive for me."
The amount of fertilizer available globally has almost halved, while the cost of some types of fertilizer have nearly tripled over the past 12 months, according to United Nations data. That is having a knock-on effect in countries like Tanzania, where farmers are dependent on imported fertilizer.
Africa - which already uses the least amount of fertilizer per hectare in the world - is at high risk. The short supply will inevitably impact crop yields, particularly for wheat which requires a lot of fertilizer and is essential for feeding millions. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that the fertilizer shortage could push an additional seven million people into food scarcity.