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Title: Towards stakeholder accountability in the smallholder agricultural enterprise in Kenya : a case of the Kenya Tea Development Agency
Author: Mbeche, Robert Matwetwe
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 7121
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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Most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa liberalised their agricultural commodity markets and privatised agricultural parastatals in the 1980s and 1990s with an objective of improving the quality of governance. In Kenya, the smallholder tea sub-sector was one of those liberalised culminating in the privatisation of the Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) and formation of a private entity, the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA Ltd) in 2000. The KTDA Ltd manages 57 autonomous smallholder tea factory companies and brings them together as one business. However, there are concerns that these reforms have not significantly improved the quality of governance and in particular improved the livelihoods of small-scale tea farmers. Various studies have analysed the impacts of privatisation programmes but the majority have focussed on performance and efficiency with little or no focus on social and institutional variables that make a critical difference to the outcome of privatisation. Few studies have been conducted at a micro level with a focus on accountability to and empowerment of those they seek to serve. Using a case study of smallholder tea operations in Gucha, Kenya, this thesis examines the influence of the liberalisation policies and other initiatives on downward accountability and empowerment of small-scale tea farmers. Actor analysis methods were used in this study to analyse forms of interaction among smallholder tea farmers, their managing agent KTDA Ltd and other stakeholders within the smallholder tea sub sector in relation to both privatisation policy development as well as its outcomes. The research employed focus group discussions; key informant and other semi structured interviews; observations; document analysis and finally the results from a series of interviews and focus groups were used to inform the design of a questionnaire survey of 116 smallholder farmers. This process served to compare findings with those from the qualitative research and explore the extent to which there is agreement and disagreement within a larger population. The study finds that although the farmers' representatives were involved in the privatisation policy development process, their interests were not genuinely represented. The result was KTDA retaining its monopoly of managing smallholder tea factories. Nevertheless, decentralised governance structures have emerged which have been associated with quicker decision making and accessibility of the farmers to the factory companies that serve them. This has led to increased sense of ownership and a higher efficiency in operations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available