County Minister attributes growth to co-operatives

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Mar 3, 2017
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By Titus Muriithi

The Meru County Executive Committee member in charge of co-operatives Mithiaru Mithika has said that it is due to the contributions made by various coop­erative unions since independence that Kenya has been able to grow its rural economy.

He points out that through vari­ous cooperative unions, especially those in the coffee, tea and dairy in­dustry, many people living in the ru­ral areas have educated their children and cater for other financial needs. An example is coffee co-operatives in Meru, which has enabled mem­bers put up huge office blocks such as the Meru Coffee Co-operative Union building in Meru and Imenti House in Nairobi’s Central Business District.

“It is through co-operatives that members have been able to put up commercial buildings, ensured that roads are improved and maintained and assisted many families to take their children to school,” said Mith­ika.

He disclosed that the County Government was working on a plan to uplift co-operatives in the county, targeting the youth, women and general traders. “It is unfortunate that the youth are not attracted to co-operatives unlike in the indepen­dence years when leadership of most Unions was made of young and en­ergetic minds,” said Mithika.

He suggested that forming co-operatives was the only solution to the problems currently facing miraa traders, a popular cash crop grown in Meru. Most miraa farmers remain skeptical following collapse of many miraa co-operative societies in the early 1960s

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