President Uhuru Kenyatta attributes the rapid growth of the cooperative sector to the policy reforms

President Uhuru Kenyatta attributes the rapid growth of the cooperative sector to the policy reforms

President Uhuru Kenyatta has credited the remarkable expansion of the cooperative sector to policy reforms undertaken by the government since 2013.

The President stated that the changes have assisted the sector in playing its proper role in achieving the Big 4 Agenda pillars 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 agro-processing and value addition in coffee, cotton and dairy to name but a few,” the President said.

President Kenyatta spoke on Saturday at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre where led the country in celebrating the 100th International Co-operatives Day.

The President cited the revival of the Kenya Planters Cooperative Union as one of fruits of the reforms that have directly benefitted coffee farmers.

“As part of this revitalization programme, my Administration incorporated the new Kenya Planters’ Cooperative Union Ltd (New KPCU) in 2019 after liquidation of the old KPCU, which was bedevilled by a myriad of challenges,” President Kenyatta said.

The Head of State stated that the reforms enabled the New KPCU to establish a Kshs 3 billion Cherry Revolving Fund, institute a Kshs 1 billion agriculture inputs subsidy programme, and rehabilitate coffee drying tables.

He went on to say that the new institution has also been able to give sustainable solutions to thousands of coffee growers through milling and marketing services, noting that the New KPCU has milled and marketed for 236 cooperative societies and 92 coffee estates.

“The benefits of the New KPCU are already noticeable; the New KPCU charges farmers USD 40 per ton of milled coffee as compared to USD 65 per ton, charged for the same services by private millers. So far, the New KPCU has milled 1,828 tons of coffee,” President Kenyatta said.

According to the President, the reforms also helped to stabilise the dairy sub-sector by modernising and expanding the New Kenya Cooperative Creameries facilities around the nation, resulting in a steady increase in the number of dairy co-operatives.

“This initiative has had a positive social-economic impact in the dairy sector through the stabilization of milk prices at farmer and consumer levels, due to efficient processing and packaging capabilities. Moreover, with its increased processing capacity, the New KCC has been enabled to take up excess milk from farmers, thereby averting losses at farm level and providing a much-needed ready market for their produce,” he said.

On rice farming, President Kenyatta stated that the Kenya National Trading Corporation was revived as a result of government-led reforms, allowing the industry to enhance production and ensuring farmers have access to markets for their produce at competitive prices.

Another area that has benefited from co-operative sector changes is the cotton industry, where the government is putting into action the recommendations of a task group aimed at rejuvenating old and outmoded cotton cooperative ginneries as well as creating new ones.

Concerning Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs), President Kenyatta stated that the implementation of the Sacco Societies (Non-Deposit Taking Sacco Business) Regulations 2020, which began in January 2021, has helped to double the number of SACCOs subject to the prudential supervision of the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) to 360.

»President Uhuru Kenyatta attributes the rapid growth of the cooperative sector to the policy reforms«

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