Producers are paying a steep price following delayed clearance of 2,000 tonnes of calcium and potassium nitrate fertiliser at the Mombasa Port, hurting horticultural and flower production.
Kenya Flower Council (KFC) chief executive Clement Tulezi said importers are charging Sh65,000 a tonne compared to the usual Sh25,000 before the government started pre-inspection last June.
“The situation is fast getting out of hand since Kenya lacks the capacity to test for the nitrate-based fertilisers. This has seen all nitrate-based consignments fail the re-examination test and have been held at Mombasa port for the past four months awaiting resolution of the problem,” he said.
Kitale flower and fruits farmer Bob Anderson said the delay had adversely affected commercial operations, with port and storage demurrage charges as well as the newly introduced 20 per cent tax on demurrage charges being heaped on fertiliser importers.