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Former KTDA directors to know their fate in January after audit

Kenya Tea Development Authority chairperson David Ichoho during the homecoming ceremony of the agency’s vice chairperson Wesley Koech in Bureti. [Standard]

The results of a forensic audit on Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) and affiliate companies will be known by January next year.

According to the agency’s chairperson David Ichoho, the audit covers five years and involves factories, nine subsidiary companies and the KTDA Holdings.

Mr Ichoho said besides determining the true financial status of the agency, the audit would determine action to be taken against former directors, who were sacked at the onset of tea reforms spearheaded by Agriculture CS Peter Munya.

“The forensic audit is ongoing... The Kenya Tea Development Agency’s management and factory directors will lay bare the truth in January,” said Ichoho.

Ichoho announced that farmers would be paid their dues by the fifth day of every month and that the bonus payment for next year will be released by October, two months ahead of the traditional payment period.

Tea farmers expect a boom after the government set aside Sh274.47 per kilo of made tea in July.

This has seen tea prices increase since President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Tea Act 2021, an initiative by Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot.

In the four months under KTDA review (July – November 2021), prices significantly improved by 53 per cent in the week before the introduction of the reserve price in July. 

Speaking during the homecoming ceremony of KTDA vice chairperson Wesley Koech in Bureti constituency, Ichoho told farmers to take advantage of the subsidised fertiliser that retails at between Sh2,500-Sh2,600 after the government provided Sh1 billion to the farmers.

Small-scale tea farmers in four counties among them Kericho have begun replacing moribund tea clones with drought-resistant and high-yielding varieties.

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