County policy to streamline management of co-ops

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By Azael Masese

Bomet County is developing a cooperative policy to address issues affecting the operations of societies in the region.
County Co-operative Commissioner David Kerich said the Bill that will establish this into law is before the County Assembly.
“If adopted, it will attempt to curb mismanagement of co-operatives in the region since this is now a devolved function,” he said.
The County Government, which has been a passive player will be actively engaged in their operations.
Under devolution, the County Government will for example appoint the county co-operative commissioner unlike in the previous arrangement where the office holder was from the National Government.
Some of the prominent societies within Bomet include Kenya Midland, Stegro and Tenhos. They largely draw membership from tea farmers. Members of TENHOS are from Tenwek Hospital.
He said governance issues are some of the hiccups that have blunted the competitive edge of a number of societies, mostly Saccos.
Once in place, the County Government will be actively involved in the management of the co-operatives such as offering financial support.
This is unlike in the past where only the National Government had to keep an eye in their operations while the County Government was a spectator, safe for isolated cases.
Besides, it will also bring into the fold other co-operative related entities such as those in housing and youth related issues.
In the past, the co-operative sector has been supporting co-operatives that focus on marketing, largely those associated with tea and dairy industries.
The policy will also cushion societies whose membership is largely affiliated to tea farming from the volatile nature of their business.

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