Small scale tea farmers will today go to polls to elect new directors for the existing 54 tea factories in the country.
More than 157,000 of over 500,000 shareholders in the industry will have the opportunity to elect up to 110 directors to head the tea factories countrywide.
The elections will see the replacement of two directors from each of the 54 Factories who retire every year. The candidates accounts for one-third of Factory Company directors who retire on rotation annually.
Already over 160 directors have been approved by their respective companies and will be battling it out to take charge of an Authority that has of late recorded increased farmers earnings.
According to the authority, “The highest ever farmers’ earnings, at Sh40.5 billion for the 2010/2011 financial year, was recorded in the last three months. This surpassed the previous year’s record of Sh38.2 billion.”
“The elections will be by secret ballot and will be conducted through the weighted voting system of shares, in which shareholders elect directors based on the strength of their individual shares,” said KTDA’s head of corporate affairs, Charles Kimathi.
Up to 350 polling stations have been set across the 110 electoral areas, near tea buying centers to ensure accessibility and hastening the voting process. Results will be announced by returning officers today evening after which they will be confirmed tomorrow in the respective factories Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The list of approved winners be published later on Thursday 12. This will be the fifth year the authority is conducting free and fair elections.
But the Directors will be sworn in at a time when the industry has been hit hard by frosts that saw this months projected productions fall by 20 million Kgs, estimated at loss of Sh 1 billion in just a week. The authority had projected a production of up to 85 million Kg of unprocessed tea. The loss is viewed to impact on the country’s foreign exchange earnings.