Sirius Minerals has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives of the United Republic of Tanzania.

The MOU is to collaborate around research on polyhalite to support its introduction into Tanzania in accordance with the approval processes provided for under the relevant fertilizer regulations frameworks in Tanzania.

Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius, commented: “Agriculture plays a major role in the economy of Tanzania and indeed much of Africa and the large scale, low cost nature of the polyhalite from the York Potash Project could significantly improve accessibility to key nutrients across the continent.  This could help to encourage better balanced fertilization practices, leading to better productivity outcomes for farmers in the region and has the potential to positively impact millions of lives in Africa.

“We are very pleased the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture has recognised the potential of polyhalite and welcome its support.  Tanzania is recognised as one of the five key focus countries for the UK Government’s High Level Prosperity Partnerships for Africa programme and polyhalite from the York Potash Project could play a significant role in advancing this initiative.”

Tanzanian agriculture has historically experienced an under application of fertilizers due to inaccessibility of low cost fertilizer inputs.  It is widely recognised that application of the correct inputs will raise yields, leading to significant social and economic benefits.  Tanzania has aspirations to improve its existing agricultural practices with a view to becoming a leader in African agriculture and this includes looking at options for better fertilization practices and applications.

The MoU provides a basis for enhancing the Tanzanian national capability in fertilizer research and development in which polyhalite will be introduced in Tanzania.  It would be utilised as a direct application fertilizer or blended with other fertilizers including rock phosphate, which is produced in different parts of Tanzania, to produce balanced fertilizers to improve crop yields.

The Ministry and Sirius plan to cooperate in establishing fertilizer research programmes and crop trials.  Both parties believe that the MoU could present a significant opportunity to assist Tanzanian agriculture in meeting its long term goals of increasing the use of agricultural inputs to improve food production and productivity of farmers in Tanzania.

Tanzania is one of the five key focus countries for the UK Government’s High level Prosperity Partnerships in Africa.  The High Level Prosperity Partnerships aim to strengthen economic cooperation between the UK and Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania based on shared priorities in specific sectors.  The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK Trade & Investment and the Department for International Development are working together and with African governments and business to identify opportunities to increase trade and investment and create mutual growth and jobs.

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