The National Treasury is expected to roll out the programme beginning next month in order to subsidize fertilizer for tea farmers. “KTDA welcomes the presidential directive for the allocation of a Kshs. 1 billion fertilizer subsidy for tea farmers. This directive will ensure that all smallholder tea farmers under the KTDA umbrella have access to the much-needed fertilizer at much lower costs. This will leave them with more money in their pockets while enabling them to enhance tea production,” said David Ichoho, KTDA Chairman. The agency says it has already completed importation and distribution of 65,000 tonnes of fertilizer, while an additional 21,000 tonnes have been procured locally to bridge the shortfall between the required volumes and that which was imported. According to KTDA, tea prices for its affiliated factories hit an average of $3.07 in the auction held on October 12, despite reduce production. Production between July-and September reduced 9% with factories producing 54.4 million kilos of tea in the three months compared to 60.1 million kilos for a similar period last year. KTDA introduced a reserve price of USD 2.43 per kilo of made tea on July 10 this year, informed by a deteriorating market that had seen selling prices nearly slip below the cost of production. “We are encouraged by the improved prices at the auction, which means farmers are likely to earn significantly better returns this financial year,” added Ichoho.
Source: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation