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KTDA pays farmers Sh734m dividends from subsidiaries.

A woman plucks tea leaves at a farm.

Farmers attached to Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) will receive Sh734 million this week as dividends from the seven subsidiaries of the firm. The dividend payout relating to the financial year ended June 30, 2020, is an increase of 7.4 per cent compared with the previous period when farmers earned Sh683 million. The cash is part of alternative income that KTDA makes from other entities that the agency runs and is usually paid to farmers through their factories.

“The tea factories through resolutions of their directors assigned the dividend income directly to the farmers who are the shareholders of the tea factories that own KTDA (H) Ltd,” said the agency in a statement. This is the second year that dividends are being made as a standalone payment directly to farmers.

The payment comes at a time when the agency is under pressure from the government over its management of farmers’ affairs, with the Ministry of Agriculture holding the view that growers are not earning enough from what these subsidiaries make.

“Contrary to the misconception that dividends have never been paid in the past, KTDA Holdings and its subsidiaries declare their dividends at the end of the respective financial years. KTDA’s annual audited accounts indicate that dividends have consistently been paid to its shareholders who are the factory companies,” KTDA said.

Some of the subsidiaries include KTDA Power, which is involved in power generation aimed at reducing the cost of energy for factories; Greenland Fedha, which facilitates credit for farmers, and Ketepa, which is KTDA’s value addition arm that blends and packages tea for local consumption and export.

Others are Chai Trading Company Limited whose mandate is warehousing, blending, clearing and forwarding, value addition, export, and general tea trading; Majani Insurance Brokers, which provides insurance brokerage services for tea factories and KTDA Group companies; Tea Machinery and Engineering Company Ltd and KTDA Foundation, which focuses on corporate social investments. –