KTDA PARTNERS WITH CO-OPERATIVE BANK OF KENYA AND GLOBAL GREEN FUND ECO.BUSINESS FUND TO IMPLEMENT ITS ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE (ESG) INITIATIVES

Nairobi 2nd May 2024 Directors affiliated with KTDA-run factories are set to benefit from capacity building and training on Environmental Social and Governance initiatives under a partnership between the Co-operative Bank and green financing fund Eco.business Fund.

Under the partnership, KDTA Holding will utilize support from the two institutions to enable it to implement its Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) initiative aimed at strengthening the resilience of the smallholder tea value chain. KTDA’s ESG initiative are aimed at enabling smallholder tea farmers and factories to develop economic resilience while adopting sustainable and environmentally friendly practices that will enable the sector to combat the diverse effects and challenges posed by climate change.

KTDA plays an important role in improving the livelihoods of tea communities by promoting sustainable growth and prosperity for the smallholder tea sector with a direct and indirect impact on the markets and communities where it operates.

The key objective of the partnership is to build capacity for tea sector players especially the leadership through sector-related ESG pillars and ensure that the sector continues to support the socio-economic needs of the more than 700,000 smallholder tea farmers under KTDA management. The initiative targets over 400 Board Members, Independent Directors, Factory Directors, and senior leadership at all levels.

Commenting on the partnership, Co-operative Bank’s Group Managing Director & CEO Dr Gideon Muriuki said, “Co-op Bank implemented an ESG roadmap in 2022 which integrated ESG imperatives in all its operations. As such, this partnership is one of many strategic initiatives that the bank is involved in providing capacity building and technical support to the farmers”. 

Co-operative Bank became the first Kenyan financial institution to secure funding from the Eco.business Fund in 2021 when it secured an investment of $10 million as a subordinated loan for onward lending to sustainable agribusinesses.

 “Eco.business Fund Development Facility, in collaboration with KTDA and Cooperative Bankco-sponsored this insightful event for the KTDA board and senior management, shedding light on crucial environmental and social issues in Kenya’s smallholder tea production,’’ said Hector Gomez Ang, Fund Director of eco.business Fund advised by Finance in Motion GmbH.

‘‘We need to address challenges like climate change, biodiversity, and their impact on livelihoods by exploring the potential for innovative adaptation solutions. Our partnership helps pave the way for sustainable growth in the tea industry by enabling the tea sector to harness modern factory equipment to extract valuable tea derivatives for pharmaceutical use and exploring the creation of alternative tea-based beverages like iced teas and tea wine.” He added.

KTDA Holdings has tasked the Climate Action Committee of its board and Foundation to lead and implement this joint program touching on the 12 KTDA Zones with 71 factories in operation.

Speaking in the just concluded governance and ESG training for KTDA board and senior management, KTDA Group Chief Executive, Wilson Muthaura noted that,

“Matters related to climate change can no longer be ignored as they have an impact on tea production which is rain-fed. Variations in weather have a direct impact on tea production, the only way to ensure farmers have a sustained tea business is by implementing actions that mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.”

The KTDA Foundation plans to roll out climate action activities geared towards greening the smallholder tea value chain and enhancing the adaptive capacity of the sector which is a key GDP driver of the Kenyan economic prosperity.

The eco.business was initiated in 2014 by KfW Development Bank, Conservation International and impact asset manager, Finance in Motion, with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Finance in Motion has served as Fund Advisor since the inception of the fund.

The eco.business Fund provides dedicated financing and technical assistance to local financial institutions and businesses that are committed to implementing sustainable practices in unique ecological landscapes both in Latin America and the Caribbean and in sub-Saharan Africa. The fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts.

TEA FARMERS CAN NOW GET ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE OUTPATIENT MEDICAL INSURANCE THROUGH MAJANI INSURANCE BROKERS

Nairobi, Wednesday 17th April 2024: Majani Insurance Brokers (MIB) has partnered with Britam to launch an affordable outpatient medical insurance for smallholder tea farmers across the country. The cover is an enhancement of the Kinga Ya Mkulima cover provided in partnership with Britam.

According to MIB General Manager, Pauline Mwangi, the cover offers additional financial protection to farmers and reduces out-of-pocket expenditure on medical bills. The Kinga ya Mkulima cover already has an inpatient package.

“Farmers have indicated that while the inpatient cover has been beneficial, they also want to be covered when they are seeking outpatient medical services or when they need to take medication at home” said Ms. Mwangi.

In partnership with Britam, MIB has developed an enhanced package that caters to both inpatient and outpatient needs of tea farmers. The enhanced cover will offer more benefits to farmers, at an additional premium, enabling them to access over-the-counter medication among other outpatient benefits. 

Ms Mwangi said that Majani will be working with Greenland Fedha, a microfinance outfit that, like MIB, is a subsidiary of the Kenya Tea Development Agency Ltd (KTDA) to provide credit to farmers to meet any financing gaps to access the insurance cover.

Britam Director of Emerging Consumers, Saurabh Sharma, observed that with such flexible insurance solutions to protect farmers during adverse health events, they can focus their energy and resources on their core business of producing high-quality tea for local and international markets.

“We understand that out-of-pocket medical expenses can put a strain on any family and this expanded cover will ensure access to necessary medical care without financial worries, promoting a healthier and more productive population,” said Sharma.

The cover is available to farmers in 71 tea factories run by KTDA. The inpatient cover offered by MIB and Britam has been highly successful as it has over 200,000 members insuring over 700,000 lives and has settled more than 150,000 claims. The new outpatient enhancement is expected to scale up this product further to reach over one million lives.

The cover is also available to non-tea farmers, but unlike tea farmers who have the unique flexibility of paying their premiums in monthly instalments, non-tea farmers have to pay upfront when joining the scheme.

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