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FEBRUARY 2017

www.endeavourmagazine.com

FSG The Catalyst For An Industry Reborn INSPIRED BY YOUR SUCCESS


FSG (FERTILIZERS, SEEDS & GRAIN) WWW.FSG.CO.ZW 263 772 143 243

www.littlegatepublishing.com

THE CATALYST FOR AN INDUSTRY REBORN WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI

After the most challenging decade for the country’s agricultural sector, an industry which once set the standard not only in Africa but the world over, the green shoots of recovery are finally beginning to emerge from the lush soil of Zimbabwe.


FSG (FERTILIZERS, SEEDS & GRAIN)

Agriculture still stands as the main pillar of the national

economy of Zimbabwe. Remarkably, even after the collapse in agricultural production between 2000-2010, tobacco, cotton, and sugar cane contribute at least 30% of Zimbabwe’s national GDP and provide the stillfragile economy with an invaluable flow of foreign currency.

A

s recovery continues after the devastating drought of 2015, the country’s fertiliser industry will play a no-less important role in the ongoing revival of Zimbabwe’s signature industry.

Home-grown fertiliser producers and distributors like Ferts, Seed, & Grain are committed to restoring the country’s farming sector back to its rightful state, and empowering the small independent farmers it serves, who have worked tirelessly to increase crop production to a level matching those of the sprawling commercial farms that once dominated the industry. Established in 2010 as a small-scale importer of finished fertilisers, Ferts, Seed, & Grain (FSG) has undergone great change over its six-year lifetime. Once a local distributor of fertiliser products for Malawi-headquartered agribusiness, Meridian Group, FSG now stands as one of the industry leaders in Zimbabwe, and as a leading manufacturer of fertiliser in its own right. It is a Zimbabwean company through-and-through, committed to proving excellent service and high-quality products to its customers. Steve Morland, FSG’s Managing Director, told Endeavour: “FSG started off as an importer of finished fertilisers into Zimbabwe. In 2013 we moved on to purchase a large property, formerly a cotton factory, in Bindura, and in 2014 went on to erect a small bulk blending plant which allowed us to blend our own fertilisers. This year we have built a much larger blending plant, and also began commissioning our own granulator. These latest developments enable us to manufacture up to 700 tons of fertiliser per day, as well as producing a number of different blends simultaneously.” He continued: “We currently cater for the entire Zimbabwean


FSG (FERTILIZERS, SEEDS & GRAIN) market’s needs, which includes sugar cane production for sugar

legislation was to build a thriving domestic industry, Zimbabwean

and ethanol, large and small tobacco companies, government

owned and run. With the stroke of a pen, the historical dominance

programmes, cotton production, commercial farmers of maize,

of the traditional industry monopoly was broken, and as a result of

wheat and soya, and small-scale farmers through a widely

this legislation FSG’s path to success was cleared. “We took this as

established third-party retail.

an opportunity to set up our production facility, establish ourselves

Besides our fertilizer business, FSG are also involved in grain

with a large number of retail outlets across the country, and also

trading and supporting a number of contract growers. In some

embarked on a very serious grass-roots marketing campaign.

cases, we combine these two disciplines to swap inputs for maize

During this period, we focused on giving prospective customers

outputs with the farmer.”

the opportunity to use our products, and after farmers started

Needless to say, business is booming. Demand for FSG’s

getting excellent results with Superfert, word of mouth spread and

fertiliser, the Superfert fertiliser brand, has increased at an

the brand gained popularity. 2016 has become our best year yet,

impressive rate both on its retail and commercial arms, whilst its

we are extremely happy and encouraged by our sales figures to-

retail tobacco sales alone have increased by almost 90% year-on-

date.

year since 2015. With growth rates forecast to keep rising over the

With the support and resources of the Meridian Group to

coming years, these are exciting times for the company, along with

call upon, FSG was comfortably able to meet the surge in volume

its competitors and indeed the wider industry.

demand for the raw materials required to manufacture its fertilisers

FSG’s success is, in part, thanks to an intervention on the

and capture market share. Importantly, it was able to do so cost-

part of the Zimbabwean government, who have shown strong

effectively. This isn’t to say that FSG has rested on its laurels; the

commitment to the development of agriculture and making the

company has invested in the facilities to hold up to 20,000 metric

country self-sustainable in food production. This window of

tons of stock, and implemented processes so it can be placed on

opportunity presented itself two years ago with the legislation that

the ground where it is needed ahead of demand. Then, there are

NPK fertilisers could no longer be imported as finished products

the advantages that come with operating the most modern fertiliser

and, instead, had to be manufactured locally. The aim of this

production facility in Zimbabwe, which in Steve’s words “is also the

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FSG (FERTILIZERS, SEEDS & GRAIN) most cost efficient as far as operational costs are concerned, and

seminars as these opportunities arise.”

which therefore gives us a competitive advantage on the price we can offer to customers.”

All-in-all, it is difficult to imagine a position better for a company like FSG. The foundations upon which further growth and

Another string to the bow of FSG is its employees, many of

prosperity can be built are in place, and, crucially, it has a strong

whom have been with the company since it opened its doors for

and positive working relationship with the national government,

business. In a country with an agricultural heritage as prestigious

with whom it has won various contracts to supply and distribute

as that of Zimbabwe’s - one that accounts for over 66% of national

fertiliser countrywide over the past two years, as well as a host of

employment, there is a strong pool of talent to pick from for

contracts to supply commercial farming enterprises for wheat and

businesses operating in the sector. Within its ranks, FSG’s 60

maize, and a number of contracts for the country’s large tobacco

permanent staff and its 200 seasonal workers have an intimate

producers.

GAVILON FERTILISER

knowledge of both the country and the industry, thanks to the experience gained from years of working in agriculture.

And then there’s the retail side of operation, which is also in the process of being expanded so that FSG’s products will soon be

On this, Morland told Endeavour: “It has always been our policy

made available in every corner of the country network – from 2017,

to promote from within so we have a team that has moved through

Superfert will be available in 40 towns and cities nationwide, from

the ranks and been around from the very start. It is a very tight

130 outlets. Steve said: “This is an ongoing expansion program;

group of people that run FSG in Harare; a hugely committed and

we’re continuously looking for new opportunities, particularly to

motivated team who are driven further by the great results the

develop our export market, which will assist us in generating much

company has had over the years.

needed foreign exchange.”

Our entire factory staff complement has been trained from the

These are exciting times, not only for FSG but for the country’s

very beginning by specialists who we brought in specifically for this

resourceful farmers, and indeed Zimbabwe itself. Times remain

task. We have developed a full agronomy team, all of whom started

challenging, granted, but finally the country has turned a corner:

with us while still completing their formal training and studies.

here’s hoping that the good times are here to stay.

We continually encourage our staff to attend training courses and

THE FOOD CROPS PREFER. GAVILON FERTILISER

www.gavilon.co.za

THE FOOD CROPS PREFER. Gavilon South Africa (PTY) LTD

Ground Floor, Silky Oaks Building, Ballyoaks Office Park, 35 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston, Johannesburg, 2012 • P.O Box 133, Cramerview, 2060 Sales Managers: Leon Lotz 076 303 4598 • Willem Engelbrecht 082 825 7781 Handro Swart 082 801 7948 • Bryanston office no. 011 367 8420

www.gavilon.co.za


W W

hat hat started started as aasmere a mere maize maize grower grower andand it was it was the the lineline thisthis system system be retained. be retained. PartPart of the of the which the the company company hadhad on the on the agreement agreement between between the the Ministry Ministry of of Farmers’ Farmers’ Co-operatives Co-operatives which in the in the citycity of Salisbury of Salisbury on onmembers’ members’ grain grain thatthat made made trading trading Agriculture Agriculture andand the the Farmers’ Farmers’ Co-op Co-op the the payment payment for for members’ members’ maize maize 21March 21March 1908 1908 hashas grown grown to become to become practical practical andand all0wed all0wed the the Farmers’ Farmers’ waswas the the largest largest agricultural agricultural andand hardware hardwareCo-op Co-op to make to make certain certain cashcash advances advanceswould would be initially be initially to the to the Farmers’ Farmers’ Co-Coretailer retailer in Zimbabwe, in Zimbabwe, making making a a when when the the maize maize waswas delivered, delivered, or to or to op. op. TheThe Farmers’ Farmers’ Co-op Co-op waswas therefore therefore a position to deduct to deduct what what waswas significant significant contribution contribution to the to the givegive modest modest credit credit to the to the members members in ainposition agricultural agricultural sector sector andand the the economy. economy. when when in need. in need. Thus, Thus, when when maize maize owing owing to ittoand it and paypay overover the the balance balance to its to members. its members. TheThe system system stood stood the the TheThe Farmers’ Farmers’ Co-op Co-op waswas essentially essentially control control came came intointo being being it was it was of of established established for for the the benefit benefit of the of the vitalvital importance importance thatthat some some partpart of of testtest of time. of time.

Banket Banket Chinhoyi Chinhoyi Mhangura Mhangura Karoi Karoi Gweru Gweru

Retail Retail Stores Stores

Glendale Glendale Bindura Bindura MtMt Darwin Darwin Mvurwi Mvurwi Guruve Guruve Murewa Murewa

FarFar more more than than simply simply a retail a retail andand wholesale wholesale outlet, outlet, though though it fulfils it fulfils these these functions functions through through its network its network of 38 of stores, 38 stores, centred centred on the on the 3,300 3,300 square square metre metre flagship flagship at 4th at 4th Street Street

Marondera Marondera Rusape Rusape Mutare Mutare Nyanga Nyanga Chipinge Chipinge Hauna Hauna

Masvingo Masvingo Chegutu Chegutu Zvishavane Zvishavane Kadoma Kadoma Harare Harare Kwekwe Kwekwe Mutoko Mutoko Chiredzi Chiredzi Gokwe Gokwe Bulawayo Bulawayo

Harare, Harare, Farm Farm & City & City is aisstrategic a strategic chicks, chicks, veterinary veterinary products, products, animal animal player player withwith its roots its roots in ainco-operative a co-operativefeeds, feeds, protective protective clothing, clothing, fencing fencing business. business. It sells It sells everything everything a farmer a farmer andand building. building. needs, needs, including including implements, implements, seed, seed, Farm Farm & City & City Centre Centre is the is the preferred preferred chemicals, chemicals, fertilizers, fertilizers, tools, tools, dayday old old agro-retailer agro-retailer in Zimbabwe, in Zimbabwe, offering offering retail retail agricultural agricultural inputs, inputs, building building materials materials andand general general hardware. hardware. FSG, FSG, being being oneone of our of our keykey suppliers suppliers of fertilizer, of fertilizer, supports supports us immensely. us immensely. We We appreciate appreciate the the rolerole FSGFSG plays plays in delivering in delivering for for the the farming farming in Zimbabwe. in Zimbabwe.

Contact Contactdetails: details:

 +263-4-251162-8 +263-4-251162-8  info@farmandcity.co.zw info@farmandcity.co.zw  www.farmandcity.co.zw  www.farmandcity.co.zw  farmandcitycentre farmandcitycentre


FSG