By Our Reporter
Amica Sacco chairman Hezron Maina Muchiri has asked the government to channel salaries for public servants and payment to suppliers through Saccos.
Muchiri said the money will boost Sacco portfolios and also improve their financial status.
He lamented that payment of civil servants and entrepreneurs exclusively through banks was alienating Saccos from the national payment system yet they were duly regulated by the Government through the Sacco Society Regulatory Authority (SASRA).
Muchiri also asked the Government to boost coffee production in Central Kenya because it is a key driver of the economy.
“Murang’a is one of the lowest coffee producers in the region. Local farmers should be encouraged to plant more coffee and be assured of ready markets,” said Muchiri.
Muchiri however expressed dissatisfaction with the government order that farmers deliver their coffee through the Kenya Planters Co-operative Union (KPCU).
“The government directive that we deliver to the struggling KPCU will in the long run destroy local operators who had partnered with farmers for decades,” said Muchiri.
He said it was disheartening that coffee societies’ officials are required to approve farmers’ application for loans from the Cherry Advance Revolving Fund.
Coffee Co-operative Society chairperson Ezra Kinyua, Kahuhia also said the requirement by the government to reduce societies’ operation costs to 5% was outrageous.
He said his society has been deducting about 20% of farmers’ earnings to pay workers, buy inputs and maintain factories.
Kahuhia complained that capping costs at 5%, means many societies may not operate smoothly, forcing farmers to process their own coffee.
“Many factories are getting rehabilitated and if things do not change, we will return this sector to where it was decades ago when farmers had to work in factories to process their coffee,” he said.