Bernard Gitau @benagitau
More than 650,000 tea farmers will from July benefit from subsidised fertilisers from the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
KTDA group chief executive Lerionka Tiampati said they have procured 95,000 tonnes of fertiliser at Sh 3.5 billion.
“More than 650,000 farmers who own the 69 factories that KTDA manages, benefit from supply of fertiliser,” he said.
Tiampati said the subsidised fertiliser is supplied through KTDA’s supply programme for farmers’ through a financing deal with Standard Chartered Bank. “The move will help farmers access affordable fertiliser that will go towards improving the quality and yield of their tea,” said Tiampati.
He added that this programme is part of KTDA’s long-term strategic objective to continuously work towards providing smallholder tea farmers with a wide-range of cost-effective solutions.
Last year, through a similar arrangement, KTDA procured and distributed fertiliser for farmers at Sh1,774 per 50kg bag against the prevailing market rate of Sh2,700.
The quantity of fertiliser a farmer will receive will depend on the number of tea bushes owned. On average, a 50kg bag of fertiliser is applied to 700 bushes.
The fertiliser requirement is usually determined in November and December ahead of procurement in the following year.