CS Munya challenges KTDA’s new board to revive its glory, enhance farmers’ earnings

CS Munya challenges KTDA’s new board to revive its glory, enhance farmers’ earnings

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has called on the new Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) Holdings Board to move with speed to execute actions and strategies that will accord farmers enhanced earnings and get the sub-sector back to a sustainability and profitability path.

Speaking at an induction ceremony for the new board at a Nairobi hotel Wednesday, CS Munya said the new Board has taken up the new leadership mantle against the backdrop of ongoing reforms.

According to CS Munya, there is increased expectation to refocus the businessess’ objectives to serve the interest of farmers.

“As you assume office, it is important for you to recognize that you are taking up your responsibilities on the platform of reform and transformation, amidst high expectations from the shareholders and farmers who for a long time have suffered in the hands of poor leadership.

“The most important responsibility that you have is to restore the original mandate of KTDA Holdings Ltd, which is executed through the KTDA Management Services Ltd and to refocus the respective subsidiaries towards serving farmers’ interests and delivering value to shareholders,” said CS Munya.

He reiterated the Government’s commitment to continue facilitating policy support in the sub-sector, cautioning that the effectiveness of the Government’s support will only be realized if there is reciprocation from stakeholders.

“The Government will continue facilitating policy support as well as the promotion and marketing strategy through the Tea Board of Kenya. However, Government support will only make sense if KTDA Holdings Ltd, which has the mandate of managing tea for the smallholder sub-sector plays its part,” he added.

Key Changes at KTDA

Changes have since been made at the agency, most of which are inclined to benefit tea farmers in the country.

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The individual smallholder tea farmers affiliated with KTDA will now own direct shareholding of the company alongside their respective 54 tea factory companies to cement their ownership and proprietorship in the organization.

This flowed the resolutions of the KTDA shareholders, at a special general meeting (SGM) held in April to amend the company’s articles of association.

It is meant to enable the allotment of the company’s shares to individual farmers under a new category of shareholders known as “tea farmers.”

Under the changes described as a significant milestone in the governance of the Kenyan smallholder tea industry, each of the 54 tea factory companies, through their respective portions of their 5 million bonus share issue, assigned their shares to their tea farmers, completing the passage to having the tea farmers become direct owners in KTDA.

The farmers were assigned the shares as ordinary shares, based on the leaf delivery supplied between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020.

Other significant changes to the company’s articles passed by the shareholders include voting for all company directors on the floor at the annual general meetings.

This new process does away with the previous nomination where only directors of factories in a zone were involved in the zonal nomination exercises.

To implement these changes, the agency started by making an overhaul at the top by appointing 12 new directors after elections were held on June 20 this year.

The polls took place virtually during an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting that was held by the agency’s shareholders.

Four days later, KTDA appointed Mr.Wilson Muthaura Mathiu as Chief Executive Officer in an interim capacity who has been tasked by CS Munya to speed up transformation at the agency to enhance farmers’ earnings.

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Metropol Corporation

Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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