Nairobi, July 21 2017…Kenya Tea Development Agency Management Service Limited (KTDA MS) has imported about 88,000 metric tonnes of NPK 26:5:5 fertiliser for the year 2016/2017 for distribution to small scale tea farmers countrywide.
The first batch of 44,000 tonnes of fertiliser arrived in Mombasa on July 17, 2017 and was received by Chai Trading Company Limited (CTCL), one of KTDA’s subsidiaries. CTCL is facilitating the importation and distribution of the fertiliser to the factories, jointly with KTDA’s field services. The second batch is expected to arrive on August 5th, 2017.
KTDA (H) Group Chief Executive Officer Mr. Lerionka Tiampati said applying fertiliser to tea bushes increases tea production and boosts the quality of green leaf. “Application of fertiliser at the onset of the short rains is necessary to ensure consistent high quality and quantity of tea,” he said.
He added that importing huge quantities of fertiliser enables KTDA to leverage on internal economies of scale, meaning a small holder tea farmer is able to buy a 50-kg bag of the input at affordable rates.
“As we conduct business, we focus on reducing the average cost of producing a kilo of green leaf while increasing its quality and productivity per bush through application of quality fertilizer. Already, KTDA has contracted about 1,100 trucks to ferry the fertiliser from Mombasa port to the factories upcountry thus creating employment opportunities for hundreds of youth,” Mr. Tiampati said.
The quantity of fertiliser a farmer receives depends 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 the following year.