Nairobi, October 20, 2023
In a strategic move to bolster its tea industry, Kenya has unveiled an ambitious plan to provide subsidized fertilizer to more than 650,000 smallholder tea farmers. This game-changing initiative gained momentum as a substantial shipment of 47,800 metric tons of NPK fertilizer arrived at the Port of Mombasa on October 18.
The dignitary responsible for receiving this invaluable cargo was none other than Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Mithika Linturi. He emphasized that this subsidy is a pivotal component of the government’s overarching strategy to amplify tea production within the nation.
“Tea plays a pivotal role in our foreign exchange earnings, and we are committed to empowering our farmers to enhance the production of this invaluable crop,” Linturi affirmed. “The subsidized fertilizer is poised to elevate our farmers’ yields and augment their income streams.”
The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) will serve as the conduit for the distribution of this subsidized fertilizer. KTDA Chairman, Nicholas Nganga, underscored the significance of this subsidy, especially in light of the escalating fertilizer prices that have burdened farmers.
“The cost of fertilizer has experienced an alarming twofold increase over the past year, placing a considerable strain on our farmers’ resources,” Nganga remarked. “The government’s subsidy promises relief, ensuring that farmers can readily access the necessary fertilizer to cultivate bountiful crops.”
Anticipated to commence within the next fortnight, the distribution process will allow farmers to procure the subsidized fertilizer at an enviable 50% markdown from prevailing market prices.
The government’s benevolent intervention has elicited widespread praise within the tea industry. The Kenya Tea Board (KTB) welcomed the subsidy with open arms, heralding its potential to revitalize tea production and improve the livelihoods of countless farmers.
“Tea is the lifeblood of millions of Kenyans, and the government’s subsidy is a resounding vote of confidence in our industry,” declared Peter Kanyago, Chairman of the Kenya Tea Board. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the government for its unwavering support, which promises to transform the fortunes of our tea farmers.”
Kenya currently stands as the world’s third-largest tea producer, with tea serving as a cornerstone of its foreign exchange earnings. The tea industry, which provides employment to over 1 million individuals, sustains the livelihoods of more than 4 million people nationwide. The government’s subsidy not only fortifies this vital sector but also signifies a resounding commitment to the prosperity of its smallholder tea farmers.