Blow To Tea Farmers as KTDA Stops Direct shareholding plans

ByEdwin Mukora
Published on: Feb 20, 2023 12:02
Tea Farmers in Kenya. Photo|Courtsey

It is a blow to approximately 600,000 small-scale tea farmers in the country after the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) halted plans to make the farmers direct shareholders of the holding company but instead to continue with ownership through their tea factories as it had been the case earlier.

Through a special general meeting in 2021, the agency’s previous board had amended the company’s articles of association and had allowed the allocation of a total of 5 million shares to individual farmers  which gave them a chance   to earn dividends directly.

According to the agency’s chairperson David Ichocho, the board has reversed the decision by the previous board after learning that some wealthy individuals had plotted to use the direct shareholding to take over the company.

As shareholders of KTDA Holdings, farmers were to elect one member to sit on the board as their representative but the previous board was ejected from the office before the certificates were issued to farmers.

The tea farmers are shareholders to 54 tea factories spread across the country that own KTDA holdings and its 8 subsidiary companies. Some of the tea factories have in turn expanded by setting up extra 15 satellite factories in their neighborhoods totaling the number of factories to 69.

KTDA accounts to over 60% of the tea produced in the country covering an acreage of 124,000 tea.

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