President Uhuru Kenyatta attributed the rapid growth of the cooperative sector to policy reforms implemented by the government since 2013.
The President noted that the reforms have helped the sector play its rightful role in achieving the pillars of the Big 4 Agenda of manufacturing, food security and affordable housing.
“In manufacturing, my administration has prioritized reforms for the revitalization of various sub-sectors where cooperatives are involved in areas such as agribusiness and value addition in coffee, cotton and produce. dairy to name but a few,” the president said.
President Kenyatta spoke at the Kenyatta International Convention Center on Saturday, where the country celebrated the 100th International Day of Cooperatives.
The President cited the revival of the Kenya Planters Cooperative Union as one of the fruits of reforms that have directly benefited coffee farmers.
“As part of this revitalization program, my administration incorporated the new Kenya Planters’ Cooperative Union Ltd (New KPCU) in 2019 after the liquidation of the old KPCU, which was plagued with myriad challenges,” said President Kenyatta.
The Head of State said that as a result of the reforms, the new KPCU was able to establish a Kshs 3 billion Cherry revolving fund, institute a Kshs 1 billion agricultural input subsidy program as well as refurbish the tables of coffee drying.
He added that the new entity has also been able to provide sustainable solutions to thousands of coffee farmers through milling and marketing services, pointing out that the new KPCU has provided milling and marketing services to 236 cooperative societies and 92 coffee plantations.
“The advantages of the new KPCU are already noticeable; the new KPCU charges farmers $40 per ton of ground coffee compared to $65 per ton charged for the same services by private millers. So far, the new KPCU has ground 1,828 tons of coffee,” President Kenyatta said.
The President said the reforms have also helped stabilize the dairy sub-sector through the modernization and expansion of New Kenya Cooperative Creameries factories across the country, resulting in a steady growth in the number of dairy cooperatives.
“This initiative has had a positive socio-economic impact in the dairy sector through the stabilization of milk prices at farmer and consumer level, thanks to efficient processing and packaging capacities. Additionally, with its increased processing capacity, the new KCC has been able to absorb farmers’ excess milk, preventing on-farm losses and providing a much-needed market for their products,” said he declared.
On rice farming, President Kenyatta said government-led reforms have seen the revival of the Kenya National Trading Corporation, which has enabled the sector to increase production and ensured farmers have access to markets for their produce. at competitive prices.
Other areas that have benefited from cooperative sector reforms include the cotton industry where the government is implementing the recommendations of a task force to revitalize old and obsolete cooperative cotton gins as well as build new ones.
On Savings and Credit Co-operative Organizations (SACCOs), President Kenyatta said that the implementation of the Sacco Companies (Sacco Companies Without Deposit) Regulations 2020 which commenced in January 2021 has contributed to double the number of SACCOs under the prudential regulation of the sacco companies regulator. (SARA) at 360.
“I note with satisfaction that over the period 2014 to 2021, the SACCO industry has recorded remarkable growth. In terms of membership, the number has increased from 3 million in 2014 to 5.5 million in 2021, signifying growth. said President Kenyatta.