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Kenya Farmers Association on recovery path after settling Sh1b debt

BUSINESS
By Stephen Mkawale | July 23rd 2014

Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) is back on its feet after clearing most of its debts amounting to over Sh1 billion. The debt owed to creditors had accumulated over the years.

The Managing Director, Simon Cherogony, admitted yesterday that the debts owed to two commercial banks, state agencies, workers and suppliers had crippled operations of the organisation.
Mr Cherogony, who took over in 2006, blamed the huge debt dating back to the 1990s on poor management. He credited the turnaround in the financial health of the organisation to the current board.

Cherogony said the organisation has now cleared over Sh700 million owed to the National Bank of Kenya and part of the Sh400 million owed to other creditors, including Barclays Bank.
He said KFA, which is key in supply of farm inputs to farmers, has managed to settle some of the debts using proceeds from sale of non-core assets identified by the board of directors headed by Richard Mibei.

"We came up with a plan on how to settle the debts and together with the help of debenture holders (banks), identified non-core assets that was sold to retire some of the debts," he said.
Cherogony said they have also paid workers' outstanding dues, part of outstanding dues owed to NSSF, Government taxes and rates owed to various county governments.
The KFA's 33 branches that are spread across the country are now fully operational and boast of 252 workers.

"All our outlets are manned by qualified staff who advise farmers on the best prices for seeds, pesticides and other farm inputs," explained the MD.

"Farmers can greatly benefit from KFA not only because of our proximity to them, but because we stock quality products and offer advice to the farmers," said Cherogony.
The MD said they are now moving to the next phase of the revival plan, which will involve relooking at the legal status of the organisation, updating members register and holding an Annual General Meeting.

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