Ship With First Consignment of KTDA Fertilizer Docks at Mombasa Port

The first consignment of 39,000 tonnes of fertilizer, imported by Kenya Tea Development Agency Management Service Limited (KTDA MS) on behalf of 560, 000 smallholder tea farmers, has arrived at the Mombasa Port.

The fertilizer was ordered from Russia after the manufacturer won an international tender that was floated early in the year. The consignment is part of the total 77,050 metric tonnes of 26:5:5 NPK fertilizer ordered for the year 2015/2016.

Receiving the batch of fertilizer in Mombasa, the Managing Director of Chai Trading Company Limited (CTCL) Mr Charles Mbui said that bulk importation of fertilizer leverages on economies of scale and this enables farmers to secure the fertiliser at the best possible price.

“By importing the fertiliser in bulk, KTDA is able to provide it at the best possible price to the smallholder tea farmers. We have continued to enjoy the benefits of economies of scale which are then passed on to our farmers,” Mr Mbui said.

The consignment is currently being packed in 50 kg bags and loaded to about 1,100 freight trucks that KTDA has contracted to ferry the fertilizer to tea factories upcountry.

KTDA MS General Manager – Operations, Mr Alfred Njagi, said the quantity of fertilizer that farmers receive is usually based on the number of tea bushes they have. On average, one 50 kg bag of fertilizer is applied on about 700 bushes.

“Every year in November and December, KTDA field services staff take fertilizer requirement orders from farmers and KTDA uses this information to place import orders. Over the years, we have developed efficient distribution networks to deliver the fertiliser to the tea buying centres for distribution to tea farmers ahead of the short rains,” Mr. Njagi added.