Tea farmers to benefit as KTDA imports fertiliser
Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) Holdings board expects to receive 47,000 tonnes of NPK fertilisers in the next two weeks for use by farmers in the current season.
David Ichoho, KTDA chairman who chaired a board meeting last Tuesday, a day after a failed takeover attempt by former directors explained that the consignment of the fertiliser quantity is expected on October 13, 2022.
The ships carrying the fertilizer, he stated are on the high seas and thus expected to dock in the next 15 days so that they can be distributed to the farmers in advance.
“We expect to receive 940,000 bags of NPK fertiliser from Russia next week which will be distributed to the farmers under the subsidy programme announced by President William Ruto during his inauguration on September 13, 2022,” said Ichoho.
The second batch of 47,000 tonnes was expected in the country in the first week of September, but Ichoho attributed the delay to the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The expected consignment will bring the total number of fertiliser KTDA has received since last month to 1,760,000 bags. The first ship carrying 41,000 metric tonnes docked in Mombasa port on August 22, 2022, manure which is already distributed to a good number of smallholder tea farmers.
Sourced from Russia
The fertiliser he said has been sourced from Russia with 820,000 bags so far received and distributed to the small-scale tea growers. The farmers agency has imported 88,000 tonnes of NPK fertiliser from Russia at a cost of Sh9 billion.
Ichoho 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.
During his inauguration, Ruto reiterated government’s commitment to make fertiliser, good-quality seeds and other agricultural inputs affordable and available.
“For the short rain season, we have already made arrangements to make 1.4 million bags of fertilizer available at Sh3,500 for a 50kg bag down from the current Sh6, 500,” he said.