I owe my success to Kenya Highlands Sacco – farmer

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Feb 16, 2017
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By Munene Maina
When Samuel Koskei
joined Kenya Highlands
Sacco in 1992, it was
operating from a small rented room
and serving only tea farmers.
Despite the area having other
bigger societies he could have
joined, Koskei had noted something
unique about the Sacco. A keen observer,
his judgment never disappointed
him.
The Sacco is now among the best
in Kenya and highly regarded for
uplifting thousands of members’
livelihoods.With a membership
towering beyond 60,000 drawn
from all sectors of economy, the
Sacco’s success is conspicuous in
Kericho County.
“The Sacco’s leadership and
management were enthusiastic in
ensuring the Sacco succeeded. This
was evident in the way they were
handling members, instilling confidence
in them they would become
successful,” he recalls.
Koskei, a retired teacher, says
when he came to know of the Sacco
he never thought twice on whether
to join it. “I left another Sacco for
Kenya Highlands and I am happy I
did it.”
Besides teaching, he loves farming
an activity he ventured into fulltime
after retiring. Today in Kaptoiboiti
location, Waradai Sub County
of Kericho County he is a renowned
farmer.
Farmers in the area often come
to him to seek advice on the best
farming practices owing to his success.
His accomplishment in farming, he
notes, never came on silver platter but
by sheer hard work. However, Koskei
says, without the support of his Sacco
his apparent achievements would have
remained a pipe dream.
His first step towards being a successful
farmer was Sh20,000 loan he
obtained from Kenya Highlands Sacco.
He used the money to plant tea on a
3-acre plot.
This was a good progress but for a
determined farmer as Koskei it was just
but a stepping stone. His vision was
more than that.
In his locality he had seen farmers
living from hand to mouth and wanted
to change this by setting a role model.
His Sacco offered him all the support
easing his endeavours.
To expand his farming the Sacco
gave him a second loan of Sh60,000
which besides expanding his tea plantation
to 4.5 acres, he used in plucking,
pruning and other farm development.
“With that progress I was done in
starting off my journey towards successful
farming. Every month I earn
Sh60,000 from tea farming,” says a
smiling Koskei.
He is not only thriving on tea farming.
Koskei is also a leader in dairy
farming. The venture earns him more
than Sh20,000 monthly.
In his farm he has
three high pedigree
cows that he bought
through credit advanced
by his Sacco. “When I
was starting daily farming
I had 13 cows but I
have reduced them for
easier management,” he
adds.
“My neighbours
who are also members of
Kenya Highland Sacco
are also reaping big from agriculture.
This Sacco has truly transformed many
livelihoods in this locality,” he says.
His Sacco has not only enabled
him to succeed in farming but also
in acquiring property. He has several
rental and commercial buildings at
Kapsoit trading centre.
The father of six is also glad that
all his children have completed their
education up to university level thanks
to his Sacco’s reliable school fees
loans.
He treasures his membership at
Kenya Highlands Sacco. Would he
advice others to join the Sacco? “They
should join the soonest as its services
are superb!” he avers.
Koskei is full of praise for the Sacco
management led by Alice Kosgei,
the chief executive officer, who have
steered to be the success story it is.
Koskei plans to venture into real
estate in future.
Robert Kirui, an accountant with
the Sacco, says the Sacco has ensured
products are tailored to members’
needs.
He notes that tea prices fluctuations
and shylocks luring farmers as some of
the challenges affecting members.
He says the Sacco has enabled
many members start businesses

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