By Tsozungu Kombe
Kilifi County Cooperative members have improved their deposits substantially.
Speaking during this year’s Ushirika Day celebrations held at Barani Secondary School in Malindi town, the County Trade, Industrialisation and Cooperatives Development Ministry Chief Officer, Patience Tsimba Umazi said prior to devolution, the deposits stood at Sh 2.3 billion but have now shot to Sh 3.8 billion.
The County, she observed has a total of 214 registered Cooperatives with a membership of 93,898 from 63,985 before devolution in 2013. The Chief Officer also noted that the County Cooperative sector turnover has risen from Sh 5.3 billion to Sh 8.3 billion, with the Cooperatives share capital increasing from Sh 43 billion to Sh 97 billion after devolution.
Two societies in the County – Imarika and Lengo Saccos- Umazi further noted have been licensed by SASRA to operate Front Office Banking Services (FOSA), with 50 new Cooperatives registered in the region after the onset of devolution.
Her ministry has also revived seven Cooperative societies in the County which had collapsed for one reason or another, and had started the revival process of another four.
On capacity building, the Chief Officer observed that training of Women and Youth Saccos has been done with 80 youth and women leaders trained on proper financial management of their respective Saccos.
Training of Dairy Cooperative members has also been done with 48 committees undergoing the process while dairy farmers have also been sensititsed on Cooperative governance, Umazi told the cooperators.
The Chief Officer also told the function that plans are under way to establish a Micro-finance Fund (Mbegu Fund) which would enable Cooperatives to access finances for value addition.