State sets date for election of KTDA directors countrywide

Thursday, June 6th, 2024 00:40 | By
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi. PHOTO/@mithika_Linturi/X.

Election of directors of 54 factories affiliated to the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is to be held this month to enable farmers pick new stewards in the sensitive sector.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi (pictured) said all directors must face off with new entrants on June 28, 2024, to get the required mandate from the smallholder farmers.

The elections will be held in all the KTDA 54 smallholder tea factories countrywide, in an activity to be supervised by the Independent Electoral Boundary Commission (IEBC).

A farmer interested in contesting the position of director must have a minimum O-level education and be registered as a tea grower. 

Linturi said the announced date followed a court decree issued on April 11 that elections for directors of the smallholder tea factories are held on June 28, 2024.

The CS held a meeting with Interior and National Administration ministry officials and those of IEBC and Tea Board of Kenya and KTDA top management at his Kilimo House office yesterday ahead of the elections. For those interested in contesting the polls, Linturi said they must meet outlined criteria mainly being a registered farmer.

He said following the meeting, it was agreed that the Election Manual issued by TBK would be amended to align it with the respective tea factories' Articles of Association. 

“And in particular on, qualifications of directors to be O-level certificate and the kilogrammes of green leaf to be used shall be in accordance with respective articles,” Linturi added.

New reforms

This is will be the second time smallholder directors affiliated to KTDA will participate in polls after former President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration through new reforms regained control of the agency.

Former Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya pushed for the implementation of new reforms leading to the dismissal of former directors some of who had steered the tea industry for decades. The elected directors who are still eligible to contest are said to have fallen out with farmers on the ground with the latter vowing to kick them out.

The current directors, according to sources in the industry, wanted the polls pushed to September this year and be done on a rotational basis whereby only few will be subjected to elections.   

The tea industry and mainly KTDA is hailed globally for its sound governance structure and aggregation model whereby proceeds are well channelled to the farmers.


More on News