By John Majau
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has asked Miraa farmers in Igembe, Meru County to borrow money disbursed to Mwenge Miraa Sacco for business development.
Munya, who was flanked by senior ministry officials and EALA MP Mpuru Aburi, said farmers and traders were now able to borrow from a Sh122 million fund which will be disbursed through the Mwenge Miraa Sacco.
“We are giving the money for distribution in Miraa growing wards, which farmers, boda boda operators and traders can now borrow at a friendly 3% interest rate to grow their business or even pay school fees,” said Munya.
Mwenge Sacco has opened offices in Maua and Laare towns but Munya said more offices will be opened in each of the miraa growing sub counties.
He said the strategy is to have miraa farmers, traders and other groups join the Mwenge Sacco and transform it into a major financial institution which will benefit the community.
“We want to grow it into a big financial institution because even Equity Bank started as a society but it is now a big bank that has spread in Kenya,” said Munya.
He said Mwenge Sacco has members in Tana River, Mombasa and Wajir because Miraa people are everywhere and urged residents to register as members.
Mwenge Sacco Chairman Stanley Mungatia said Sh122m disbursed by the government was already in their account and residents should register as members to get loans.
The CS recently launched the construction of a three-floor modern Miraa market building at Laare in Igembe North. The facility will also have a borehole and carbro-paving around it.
Another block is under construction in Mutuate area, that is also expected to boost production in the Miraa growing region of Igembe North, Meru County.
Apart from those two, another market project is on-going at Muringene in Igembe Central Sub County.
Mr Munya, who also opened a new office housing the Mwenge Miraa Sacco at Laare, said the national government aspires to build two offices in each of the miraa growing sub counties.
He revealed they were also in discussion with the National cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to provide space at the Maua town depot for another miraa trading building to cater for Igembe South Sub County.
The national government is spending part of the Sh1 billion allocated to development of Miraa in construction of markets and boreholes in the region.
Miraa is mostly grown in Igembe North, Igembe Central, Igembe South and Tigania East sub-counties which are all in the northern part of the county.
The stimulant is also grown in a few other sub counties, albeit in less significant scale.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta gave the money to build markets. He is also working to have the Somalia market re-opened,” Munya added.