Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya, has called on the new KTDA Holdings Board to move with speed in executing actions and strategies that will accord farmers enhanced earnings and get the sub-sector back to the sustainability and profitability path.
Speaking at an induction ceremony for the new board at a Nairobi hotel, Munya said the new Board has taken up the new leadership mantle against the backdrop of ongoing reforms.
“There is increased expectation to refocus the businesses objectives to serve the interest of farmers and the reforms are geared towards restoring good governance and making the tea industry sustainable and profitable,” he said.
Munya noted that for over the last five 5 years the tea industry has experienced a steady decline in prices and consequently poor earnings by the farmers.
“As you assume office, it is important for you to recognise 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, “he said.
He told the board that the most important responsibility they 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.
Munya explained that the government is committed to continue facilitating policy support in the sub sector but cautioned that the effectiveness of Government’s support will only be realised 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 said.
In order for the farmers to realise the benefits of the new dispensation, Munya noted that there is an urgent need for KTDA holdings to undertake their mandate of providing management and marketing services to the tea factory companies, act in the best interest of the tea farmers by formulating and implementing strategies aimed at delivering the best value for the tea they deliver to the market on behalf of farmers and also uphold good governance.
By Wangari Ndirangu