KALRO develops organic fertilizer for tea growing regions

Written By: Regina Manyara

PHOTO. | Courtesy

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) is conducting tests on Bocash fertilizer, an organic fertilizer deemed to be a game-changer in tea farming.

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According to scientist Dr. Monica Waiganjo the product has huge benefits compared to conventional fertilizer.

Kenya is a leading exporter of black tea, accounting for nearly 20 percent of total global tea exports.

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However, low tea prices, coupled with the high cost of farm inputs have led to land under tea acreage shrinking by 18 percent in the last ten years as farmers explore other profitable ventures.

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For a long time, farmers have complained over expensive fertilizer which accounts for more than 20 percent of their input cost despite government’s efforts to subsidized the cost of the commodity.

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Initial tests indicate that the locally manufactured Bocash fertilizer has the potential to boost tea production output as well as lowering the cost of production significantly.

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Dr. Waiganjo said the product has huge benefits compared to conventional fertilizer since it is environmentally friend with no recorded side effects to humans.

The Bocash fertilizer is made using locally available materials like molasses.

After undergoing successful tests and certification by relevant institutions, the fertilizer will be made available to tea farmers.


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