Economy

Munya seeks Sh1bn subsidy for KTDA farmers as fertiliser price rises

fertiliser

Workers offloading fertliser from a truck. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Treasury is processing Sh1 billion to offer fertiliser subsidy to farmers affiliated to Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) following a sharp rise in cost of the commodity.
  • Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said they requested the fund to help farmers afford the essential input.
  • The local price of fertiliser, pushed by rising international prices, has risen to Sh3,073 for a 50- kilogramme (kg) bag, a 54 percent increment compared with the previous season.

The Treasury is processing Sh1 billion to offer fertiliser subsidy to farmers affiliated to Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) following a sharp rise in cost of the commodity.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said they requested the fund to help farmers afford the essential input.

The local price of fertiliser, pushed by rising international prices, has risen to Sh3,073 for a 50- kilogramme (kg) bag, a 54 percent increment compared with the previous season.

“KTDA through my ministry has requested the government for fertiliser subsidy amounting to Sh1 billion, which will reduce the cost by Sh600 to Sh2,473 per 50Kg bag,” said Mr Munya.

“The request is currently being processed by the National Treasury,” added Mr Munya.

The small scale tea farmers had to content with the lack of subsidised fertiliser from KTDA last year after its importation was affected by outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic that impacted on global logistics chain that was characterised 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 kg bag as compared to Sh1,700 to Sh2,000 that they pay when they are being supplied by the tea Agency.

The tea agency imports the fertilisers from Europe, mainly Russia by direction from the Ministry of Agriculture.

A ship loaded with 65,000 tonnes of fertiliser (1.5 million bags of 50kgs) docked at the Port of Mombasa for distribution to out-growers across the country recently.

The agency imported NPK, which is a chemical compounded fertiliser special for tea and it will help farmers in improving the quality and yield of their crop.

The subsidy plan is part of the tea reforms that has been initiated by the government in order to protect farmers earnings in the wake low price amid high cost of production.