Munya orders system audit in KTDA factories to improve efficiency
The government has ordered ordered a forensic and systems audit to be carried out in all Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) factories, its subsidiary companies to improve efficiency and stamp out exploitation of small-scale farmers.
Audit, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said will start at the agency’s head office in Nairobi then extended to all its factories across the country.
“This is aimed at reducing the high work force and do way with double duties such as having regional manager and factory managers whose duties and responsibilities could be handled by one person,” he said.
Munya who spoke during a tour of tea growing areas in the North Rift said the government is committed to the overhaul of KTDA, noting that for many decades small-scale tea farmers have been swindled by former directors who conspired with a section of the managers to exploit them.
Exploited by cartels
“Farmers have for many years been exploited by cartels pocketing millions of shillings while small-scale farmers who struggle to produce the product languish in poverty,” he added.
Munya spoke when he met with tea delegates from the North Rift region at Chebut Factory in Nandi County.
The CS said the tea industry employs millions of Kenyans through direct and indirect jobs, adding that the decision to have all the 69 tea factories under KTDA audited by external auditors will improve and streamline the agency.
According to Munya, the government has also invited Ethics and Anti-Corruption Corruption Commission to probe alleged embezzlement of funds at the agency.
“The Ministry is working with the EACC to expose cartels in the sector and end corruption in the tea industry and ensure farmers benefit through increased tea prices,” he said.
Munya assured tea farmers that they will soon start earning better returns following the government’s move to have tea transported to Mombasa through Standard Gauge Railway from factories to cut down on high operational costs.
According to the recently released Economic Survey, tea contributed a total of Sh122.2 billion to the Kenyan economy last year.