Saccos Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) has been asked to ensure interests of all members of the 360 Saccos in the country are protected and that adequate revenues are generated.
Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Simon Chelugui asked SASRA’s chief executive (CEO)Peter Njuguna to also ensure that members comply with all the basics that govern Cooperative societies.
Chelugui said the statistics available in the ministry show that Saccos serve in excess of six million Kenyans across multiple economic sectors.
He observed that teachers and agricultural Saccos serve 23 per cent and 46 per cent of the total membership respectively, which make up 4.5 million citizens.
The CS said that coffee prices have become a big challenge, with farmers saying due to the control of prices by brokers and cartels they are getting very little money for their coffee.
“Now that we have a new ministry of Cooperatives, we will put more effort and attention to finding market for coffee with best prices,” Chelugui said.
He disclosed that while in the local coffee market a bag of 50kgs is bought at $180, in Ethiopia the same bag is bought at $410 while it is $700 in the United States.
“We have been asking where the problem is, and we have found out that it is a few people putting a ceiling on our coffee,” Chelugui said, pointing an accusing finger at cartels.
Chelugui confirmed that the government is planning to ensure that Saccos have their own clearing house for cheques to enable them process transactions faster.
He said the facility, projected to cost Saccos Ksh1 billion, will be in place within a year but added it could be done sooner.
“At the moment fifty Saccos have committed to the establishment of the centre but we want to bring more on board.” Chelugui said.
By Felix Wanderi
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