Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has announced distribution of more than 600, 000 fertiliser to small scale tea growers across the Country.
The farmers have gone without the subsidised inputs from the agency for almost a year after its importation was affected by outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic which forced the Country to restrict international travels.
KTDA suspended the importation of the inputs last year and even refunded farmers Sh1.3 billion it had earlier deducted from their pay.
The farmers have been purchasing the inputs 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 Sh 2, 000 on that from the tea Agency.
In an advertisement in the local dailies, Kenya Management Services Limited through the group’s Head of Procurement and Services, Brown Kanampiu, announced that approximately 65, 000 metric tons of 50 kg bagged fertilisers are expected at the Port of Mombasa early next month or August.
The supply is, however, a decrease from 85, 000 metric tons it had tendered for last season.
In the advert, the Agency has invited local bidders for the transportation of the inputs from the port to its warehouses in Mombasa and to its managed factories across the Country.
“KTDA invites tenders from eligible transporters to transport the fertilizers to its various managed tea factories, the location of the factories can be viewed online interested transport firms can obtain tender documents from the procurement offices,” read the notice in part dated June 7th, 2021.The deadline for submission of tender documents is June 22nd.
In January, KTDA started the tendering process for the importation of NPK 26:5:5 fertilizers from international firms.
In 2019, KTDA imported 95,937 tons which is 1, 918,734 million bags which was distributed to its farmers supplying tea to 69 tea factories across the Country at a cost of Sh3.822 billion.
The tea Agency imports the fertilisers from Europe, mainly Russia by direction from the Ministry of Agriculture.
The arrival of the fertilisers comes at a time when some parts of the tea growing areas in the Country are experiencing little or no rainfall.
By Joseph Obwocha