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KTDA imports 93 million tonnes of fertilizer for tea farmers

National
 Workers load bags of fertiliser into a lorry at Kiganjo National Cereals and Produce Board depot in Nyeri County in April. [Kibata Kihu, Stanadard]

Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) expects to receive 92,737,000 metric tonnes of fertilisers in the next two weeks for use by farmers in the current season.

KTDA chairman Enos Njiru said the consignment of the fertiliser quantity is expected at the Port of Mombasa next month.

Njiru said ships carrying the fertilizer are on the high seas and thus expected to dock on October 14, 2023, so that they can be distributed to all the 71 managed KTDA factories in the country.

 "We expect to receive over 92,000 metric tonnes of NPK fertiliser from next month which will be distributed to the farmers under the subsidy programme," Njiru told The Standard on the phone.

He explained that the bulk importation of the NPK fertiliser leverages economies of scale and this enables farmers to secure the fertilizer at the best possible price.

Njiru urged the government to subsidize the fertiliser and they are hopeful the funds will be released.

The chairman said that the move was a significant step towards lowering the cost of tea farming’s primary input which would in turn enhance their socio-economic welfare.

"The move will ensure that all smallholder tea farmers under the KTDA umbrella have access to the much-needed fertilizer at a much lower cost.

It will ensure money in their pockets while at the same time enabling them to enhance tea production,” he said.

The local price of fertiliser, which has been pushed by rising international prices, is Sh4,200 for a 50kg bag.

This is a 54 per cent increase compared to the previous season. With subsidy, it will cost between Sh2,500 to Ksh 3000 per bag.

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