The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has signed a financing deal with Standard Chartered Bank Kenya to purchase 95,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer that is to be distributed among KTDA tea farmers across the country.
The Sh3.5b financing deal, which is a part of the agency’s fertilizer supply program, will see more than 650,000 farmers who own 69 factories, benefit from the supply of fertilizer through the arrangement.
According to Lerionka Tiampati, KTDA group chief executive, the deal will assist farmers across the country access affordable fertilizer that will go towards improving the quality and yield of their tea.
“We are pleased to be signing this partnership with Standard Chartered Bank as it will enable us acquire fertilizers which will be distributed to our farmers at the most competitive rates we can obtain. The fertilizer will assist farmers improve the yield and quality of their green leaf,” he said.
As a result of the agreement, the agency has ensured that it will leverage on economies of scale that come with its size to obtain the most competitively priced fertilizer in an international open tender.
According to Kariuki Ngari, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya chief executive, the deal was in line with the bank’s strategy of providing much needed solutions to its clients.
“Tea is a key export sector that earns the country much needed foreign exchange. As a bank, we are therefore at the forefront of driving agriculture through corporates like KTDA and hence bringing prosperity to farmers,” he said.
The fertilizer is set to arrive in July and August for subsequent distribution to farmers for their use at the onset of the short rains. Farmers are expected to start receiving the fertilizer from the end of July, with the quantity of fertilizer a farmer receives depending on the number of tea bushes owned.