The induction and corporate governance training for estranged Kenya Tea Development Agency [Holding] Ltd directors got under way in the coast region.
The one week training also brings together over 100 shareholders and delegates drawn from the organization’s factory directors with Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya expected to officially open the forum in the course of the week.
Speaking on the first day of the well attended forum at Travelers beach hotel in Mombasa county, KTDA Holdings chairman David Muni Ichoho promised the participants they will work with them as a team unlike their predecessors.
He urged the stakeholders to work as a team in the reforms they have initiated to move forward and bring change in the agency management.
“The transit to changes being carried out with the new-look agency team is meant to empower farmers,” he pointed out.
The KTDA boss added the training is to ensure they retained the 54 factory directors countywide and train them on good corporate governance.
Ichoho, who was flanked by new members of the new board, said they are determined to ensure the stakeholders embrace the new board’s new vision.
He pointed out the board’s new vision is to ensure farmers are empowered and to put more money into the farmers pockets.
“In the past three months since the new members of the board took over the agency from their predecessors they have made several key changes towards making the agency a famer-centric organization,” he pointed out.
The KTDA board chairman said the move is in line with the growers’ demands and what they have been yearning for years.
Ichoho said the introduction of minimum prices and increase of monthly payment for farmers in region 5, 6 and 7 are some of the most notable changes,” he pointed out.
He said the board is ready to take the input of the 54 factories and what more could be done to empower the farmers and to improve their welfare.
“This will be to ensure farmers get maximum opportunities on requirements for stakeholders,” he said.
The KTDA board chair said they have appointed new management for the improvement of the welfare of farmers.
Ichoho defended the appointment of the new management saying it is comprised of experienced and qualified people which he said is the most important.
He added the new management team understands the urgency of working for the improvement of the welfare of farmers.
“The changes have the blessing of the stakeholders who have applauded the new look team and they are looking forward for their implementations,” he pointed out.
The KTDA chair announced they have already witnessed the price of tea jumping from an average of USD 1.90 before the minimum price regime to the current average of approximately USD 2.5 per kilo of tea.
He confirmed the Agency has already imported 65,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer for famers, which is being downloaded at the port of Mombasa along berth number 9.
“We have resolved to transport the consignment using the standard gauge railway [SGR] as it is cheaper and the best mode of transportation,” he pointed out.
The KTDA boss said the move to transport the consignment through the SGR will ensure faster and more efficient delivery to farmers ahead of the rains.
He said the agency’s decision is in tandem with and in support of the government infrastructure project adding that everything is being kept in the sector.
“The new look agency team has a long way to go with initiated changes since we took over as this is only the beginning of a new way of conducting business,” he pointed out.