Tea farmers fault the government for withholding subsidized fertilizers
Farmers in Bomet County have appealed to the government to release subsidized fertilizers to boost their farm outputs.
Although KENAFF Bomet branch chairman David Tiroto has acknowledged the recent efforts by the government to reform the tea sector Tiroto has faulted the Ministry of Agriculture for failing to relieve farmers from spending a lot of money in acquiring fertilizers to supplement their crops.
“Even as the reforms are in place, there is another very important element for the reforms to be complete and serve the intended purpose, the issue of subsidized fertilizers,” said Tiroto.
He continued to note that over six years ago before the reforms in the tea sector, tea farmers used to receive fertilizers from the government resulting in good bonuses from their crops, “Apart from making good harvest, farmers used to plug quality tea which helped them to fetch good prices in the world market hence good pay, we have backslidden now as the sector,” explained Tiroto.
In light of these challenges, farmers in this sector are predicting low production from the crop in the coming years if the issue is not addressed, “As farmers, we are urging our government to facilitate the release and the issuance of these subsidized fertilizers. The move will not only benefit farmers but the country at large in terms of export income,” added Tiroto.
In 2020, Kenya exported 575.3 million kgs of tea a 21% increase compared to the previous year with the tea industry estimated to account for about 4% of the country’s GDP and 26% of the country’s export earnings