Kenya Tea Development Agency board names Wilson Muthaura as group CEO

KENYA – The Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings board has announced the appointment of Wilson Muthaura as the group CEO with effect from October 1, 2021.

Until the appointment, Mr. Muthaura has been the acting Group CEO of KTDA Holdings Limited, taking over the position from Lerionka Tiampati, who resigned as the head of the agency in September.

Prior to his tenure at KTDA, Mr. Tiampati was a banker before moving to Ketepa, a subsidiary of KTDA, as Chief Executive Officer in 2001. Four years later, in 2004, he moved to KTDA as the Managing Director.

The new boss, Mr Muthaura has held various senior leadership positions across various private and public institutions for more than 24 years.

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Commenting on the appointment, KTDA Holdings Limited Chairman David Ichoho said, “On behalf of the Board and the Management, I would like to congratulate Mr. Muthaura on his appointment and wish him every success in the new role.

“We believe that he has the requisite leadership vision to steward the organization towards the full attainment of the reforms that we have embarked on.”

Muthaura embarks on the role at a time the organisation is implementing reforms in the tea sub-sector, among them strategies to stabilize tea prices at the auction to enhance farmers’ earnings.

According to the recently released Economic Survey of Kenya, tea contributed a total of Ksh122.2 billion to the Kenyan economy in the last year, making it one of the largest contributors to the country’s economy.

Despite of that, late payment and low prices by the agency has led to farmers hawking their tea in order to meet their financial needs.

Under the new law, tea farmers who market their produce through the KTDA will be paid 50 percent of the delivery monthly with the rest paid as bonus annually.

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Previously farmers were being paid by KTDA factories 14 to 16 shillings per kilo monthly with the bulk of the money paid as bonus in October.

All tea buyers shall henceforth submit to the Regulatory Authority –Agriculture Food Authority (AFA) a performance bond in the form of a bank guarantee equivalent to 10 per cent of the estimated value of the tea they intend to buy.

The law also seeks the uprooting of cartels and middlemen who have profiteered from the toil of tea farmers by controlling how Kenya’s tea gets to the market.

It will also seek to improve the running of the 69 KTDA-managed tea factories owned by some 600,000 smallholders.

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