The Star (Nairobi)

19 July 2014

Kenya: Tea Farmers to Wait Till Year-End to Vet KTDA's Performance

Tea farmers affiliated to the Kenya Tea Development Agency will have to wait till November and early December to scrutinise its financial statements for the year ended June 30.

KTDA has said it usually distributes its published accounts around that time since the 66 factories it manages hold their Annual General Meetings from early January.

KTDA-managed factories bring together more than 560,000 small-holder farmers countrywide.

Calls have arisen for the tea agency to release its financial results earlier for scrutiny. There are allegations that KTDA does not allow individual farmers access to its statements, only handing a few copies of the annual report to factories.

"Our financial year has just ended.... It is a requirement under Cap. 486 of the laws of Kenya that published accounts (audited) should be available to the shareholders at least 21 days before the AGM," said Albert Otochi, the general manager for sales and marketing.

The agency disclosed in its last annual report that it paid its directors more in the 2012/13 year despite paying the farmers less per kilo in the period. It declined to comment on the surge in directors' pay.

Directors were paid a cumulative Sh98.78 million in the 12 months ended June 30, 2013 from Sh82.86 million, a 19.2 per cent increase. This included Sh42.57 million in non-executive directors' emoluments (up by 35 per cent), Sh52.61 million as executive directors' remuneration (10 per cent up), and Sh3.6 million in "fees for services as a director".

KTDA has 15 directors at the apex including three executive ones - chief executive Lerionka Tiampati, finance and strategy director Benson Ngari and company secretary Kennedy Omanga. The board is chaired by Peter Kanyago.

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