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KTDA eyes local fertiliser firms for 400,000 bags

Tea-nandi

Workers pluck tea in Nandi Hills, Nandi County. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Kenya Tea Development Agency will procure 400,000 bags of fertiliser from local manufacturers as it seeks to bridge a shortfall incurred during the imports of commodity this year.
  • KTDA has recorded a shortage of up to 400,000 bags from what it had imported and it needs to cover the deficit from local players in order to distribute the supplement to all farmers.

Kenya Tea Development Agency will procure 400,000 bags of fertiliser from local manufacturers as it seeks to bridge a shortfall incurred during the imports of commodity this year.

KTDA has recorded a shortage of up to 400,000 bags from what it had imported and it needs to cover the deficit from local players in order to distribute the supplement to all farmers.

The agency’s chairman David Ichoho said so far, they have distributed 1.3 million bags of fertiliser to farmers in different growing zones.

“What we imported earlier was not enough for the tea farmers and to meet the deficit, the government has decided to mop up what is being produced by the local manufactures,” said Mr Ichoho.

MEA Limited and Toyota Tsusho are the key players in processing of fertiliser locally and are set to benefit from the deal.

The chairman said procuring fertiliser locally would eliminate delays that would be occasioned with the process that comes with importing and ensure that it gets to farmers as quickly as possible.

KTDA said last month that it requested the National Treasury for Sh1 billion to offer fertiliser subsidy to farmers affiliated to it following a sharp rise in price of the commodity.

The Ministry of Agriculture said it requested the funds in the wake of rising cost, occasioned by a spike in international prices.

The price of fertiliser has gone up to Sh3,073 for a 50 kilogramme bag, a 54 percent increase when compared with the previous season.

The farmers had to content with the lack of subsidised fertiliser from KTDA last year after its importation was affected by outbreak of coronavirus pandemic that impacted on global logistics challenge that was charachterised with a shortage of shipping containers.

KTDA suspended the importation of the inputs last year and even refunded farmers Sh1.3 billion it had earlier deducted from their pay.

The move saw farmers procure the input for their crop from local dealers at a relatively high cost of up to Sh3, 000 for a 50 kilograms bag as compared to Sh1, 700 to Sh2, 000 on that they pay when they are being supplied by the tea Agency.