By Kiptanui Rutto
The cooperative movement determines the state of most countries’/counties’ economies.
Speaking to the cooperators during the 94th Ushirika Day, Deputy National Commissioner for Cooperatives Mary Mungai who was the Chief Guest said without Saccos, Tharaka Nithi County won’t grow and its residents will continue to wallow in abject poverty.
She accused the Saccos’ leadershipof gender bias asmost chairpersons are men. The National Government, she said, has started a campaign to uplift women in the Cooperative sector through the initiative dubbed, ‘Alliance of Women in Coffee’ as most coffee workers are women.
“When you visit a coffee farm, you will find over 80 per cent, if not all workers, are women yet those who reap from the farms are the men since the shambas are believed to belong to them, we need to empower the women for a better future,” Mungai said.
She assured coffee farmers that the National Government is concerned about the coffee sector woes and had appointed a task force to sort out the mess. She urged them to work harder to increase production quality.
“The dairy sector should not only sell their milk to the cooler, let us work to ensure that our milk is processed then we package and sell, with the value addition, we will reap the best,” Mungai said.
She also challenged the youth to embrace the saving culture and asked the County Union Chairman to support them.
The area MP, Muthomi Njuki asked the farmers to unite adding that he had installed five coolers through the CDF and the National Government will deliver 36 more.
The County’s CEC for Co-operatives, Tabitha Mbungu pledged the Government’s support for the societies.
Cooperative Bank of Kenya Vice Chairman who is also Tharaka Nithi County Co-operative Development Forum Chairman, Julius Riungu, noted that the County Government had pledged Sh5 million support for them and asked the representatives to remind Governor Samuel Ragwa to honour the pledge.
By Kiptanui Rutto