About 65,000 tonnes of fertilizer imported by the Kenya tea development agency for smallholder farmers in the country has landed at the port of Mombasa, awaiting packaging and distribution.
In a statement, KTDA says it procured the fertilizer from Romania and Switzerland at a cost of about three billion shillings.
The supply of this year’s fertilizer follows the floating of a competitive international tender early in the year.
The cost of a 50kg bag of fertilizer will be determined once clearing and transport costs to respective tea factories across the country as well as marine and overland insurance costs have been factored in.
A local tender to supply an additional 21,000 tonnes of fertilizer has been issued to satisfy the unmet demand of the commodity.
KTDA has ensured fast, cost-effective and convenient delivery to all registered smallholder farmers with arrangements having been made with transporters to move the commodity to factories straight from the port.
Last year, the agency did not procure fertilizer for smallholder farmers as a result of logistical challenges presented by the then-emerging COVID-19 pandemic.
KTDA procures fertilizer in bulk for more than 630,000 small scale tea farmers, who are the shareholders of its managed factories, through competitive bidding.
The agency notes that the cost of fertiliser has been negatively impacted by the rising cost of natural gas, unfavourable exchange rates, global supply constraints, high crude oil costs and the cost of shipment among other factors.