A Murang’a Sacco has exuded confidence that the Ministry of Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises will play a key role in ensuring proper management and operation of Saccos in the country. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AMICA Sacco Mr James Mbui said they hope the Ministry will engage cooperatives societies to channel funds meant to improve livelihoods of small earners and entrepreneurs especially those in rural areas. During the Sacco’s Annual General Meeting held in Murang’a, on Thursday, the CEO requested the Ministry technocrats to work on modalities to ensure the Hustler fund is channeled through Saccos saying the societies comprise small and medium entrepreneurs. He hoped some of the challenges, which have for a long time negatively affected cooperative societies, will be swiftly resolved by the Ministry and lauded the Kenya Kwanza administration for recognizing the contribution of cooperative societies in growing the economy of the country. ‘Saccos mostly are formed by medium and small earners. They have elaborate networks at the grassroots and we hope the Ministry will involve us in channeling funds to those at grassroots,’ noted Mbui. He further asked the government to come up with various subsidies which will cushion farmers from adverse climatic conditions. ‘Big membership of our Sacco is made up of tea, coffee and dairy farmers. Last year the sectors were hugely affected by drought which has extended to this year. Coffee prices were better but for tea, production was affected by dry weather conditions,’ stated the CEO. With subsidies, Mbui explained that farmers will increase production thus earn better income and be able to service their loans. ‘Last year was challenging since some of our members were unable to service their loans. As we ask the government to establish subsidies for farmers we also request for better markets for coffee. Farmers will definitely increase production when there are better prices of their produce,’ Mbui added. Meanwhile the CEO said despite the mixed fortunes the Sacco experienced last year, they recorded share capital growth of 12. 5 percent to stand at Sh715.2 million up from Sh635 million in 2021. ‘The Sacco’s asset base grew by 13 percent from Sh5.92 billion in 2021 to Sh6.68 billion by the end of 2022,’ said Mbui. Speaking during the same occasion, Murang’a County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Trade, Cooperatives and Industry Mr. Paul Mugo assured residents that the local county administration will work closely with Saccos to reach and improve livelihoods of the local residents.He divulged that the county government has already rolled out subsidies for mango farmers where they have linked farmers with various buyers. ‘We have established buyers of mangoes from Murang’a. The county government has supported the transportation of the mangoes to collection centres. Farmers are receiving their payments through Saccos,’ said Mugo. From April, he said, they will roll out subsidies for dairy farmers saying this will also be achieved through cooperative societies. Mugo called on farmers and small-scale traders who are yet to join cooperative societies to register as members to benefit from some of the government programmes.
Source: Kenya News Agency