The Co-operatives Movement in Uasin Gishu County is set to grind smoothly, better and thrive following the introduction of a new law.
The Uasin Gishu County Co-operatives Societies Act seeks to, among others, lawfully provide structures for merger as well as strict management of cooperatives. It was recently assented by Governor Jackson Mandago, EGH.
The County Government has invested a lot in the co-operatives sector, having revamped up to 300 cooperatives that had collapsed. The reason for collapse of co-ops is mismanagement.
But the Act gives lawful mandate to the County Government to streamline management of coops as well as sustain the Enterprise Development Fund which is a vault for loans.
One of the principal of cooperatives is pulling together, saving and mobilizing capital in order to enable institutions to fund members so as to invest.
Governor Mandago says. “Under the Act, going forward, we shall be working with registered co-operatives with a view of merging coops engaging in similar sectors,” said Mandago as he graced the County’s 99th World Co-operatives Movement in Eldoret.
“This means the County Government has been given mandate to organize for merger of co-operatives that are venturing into same business so as to build strength and capacity for success in deversification in business.”
Also, the Act seeks to install policies for management of co-operatives for both posterity and sustainability. The County will also be loaning with strict conditions for the purpose of growing the enterprise fund.
But County Government is already rolling out the merger program, with cooperatives from Moiben and Soy, Turbo and Kapseret, Kesses and Ainabkoi joining to form one big co-operative. The Act therefore comes to provide lawful guidelines.
Co-operatives and Enterprise Development County Executive, Esther Mutai said: “The Act gives (the County) powers to run our co-operatives, it will spur the growth of cooperatives and make them more vibrant.”
“One of the ways of making financial and stock management efficient and trustworthy is by use of technology. Let us embrace ICT in our operations,” says Dr Emily Kogos, the Trade and ICT County Executive.
Mrs Mary Njogu, the Water and Environment Executive, called for a culture of saving, adding that her department is working to ensure that co-operators especially in agriculture, get reliable water for irrigation and livestock.
The County Government through the County Enterprise Fund, has loaned out over Sh 500 million to co-operative societies across the county.
Through the fund, co-operatives have grown and expanded, an example being Kurur Women – group made up of elderly women – who have expanded capacity for sale of maize to World Food Program. The group buys maize, repackage and sells to the global relief agency.
The Act comes to better services for the co-operatives movement and knits perfectly with this year’s theme of “Rebuild Better Together.”
The loans from the Fund atrract a very low interest rate of five (5) percent, which way much lower than Saccos that charge about 11 percent.