HUGE KTDA CONSIGNMENT OF FERTILISER ARRIVES IN MOMBASA
A conveyor belt system loads bags of fertilizer into a freight truck at the Mombasa port. The first consignment of the total 77, 050 metric tonnes of fertilizer imported by KTDA has arrived at the port and is being hauled to tea factories for onward distribution to the more than 560, 000 smallholder tea farmers.
Nairobi 20th July, 2015… Kenya Tea Development Agency Management Service Limited (KTDA MS), has imported about 77,050 metric tonnes of NPK 26:5:5 fertiliser for the year 2015/2016 for distribution to small scale tea farmers countrywide.
This is 13% metric tonnes more than what was shipped in last year.
Chai Trading Company Limited (CTCL), one of KTDA’s subsidiaries, is facilitating the importation and distribution of the fertilizer to the factories, jointly with KTDA’s field services.
Commenting on the shipment, CTCL Managing Director Charles K. Mbui said, “By importing the fertiliser in bulk, KTDA is able to provide it at the best possible price to about 560,000 small scale farmers. The price is based on international tender and is awarded to the best evaluated bidder. We have continued to enjoy the benefits of economies of scale which are then passed on to our farmers.”
A 50kg bag of subsidized fertilizer, which is procured directly from the manufacturers in Russia, is cheaper than what is available in the market which explains its popularity with farmers.
“There’s a myriad of direct and indirect economic activities that are created during the distribution process. For example, KTDA contracts 1,100 trucks to ferry the fertilizer from Mombasa port to the factories upcountry thus creating employment opportunities for hundreds of youth.
Explaining the procurement process, KTDA MS General Manager – Operations, Alfred Njagi, said the amount of fertilizer that each farmer gets is based on the number of tea bushes they have.
On average, one 50kg bag of fertilizer is applied on 700 bushes.
“Every year, KTDA field services staff take orders from farmers for their fertilizer requirements in an exercise we call ‘fertilizer recruitment’ which takes place in November and December. Over the years, we have developed efficient distribution networks which we will rely on to deliver the fertiliser to the tea buying centres for on-sharing with the farmers ahead of the short rains,” Mr. Njagi added.