President William Ruto has lauded the unique nature of the cooperative business model of aggregating human and capital resources for informing his administration’s economic transformation agenda.
The president revealed that since Saccos focus on uplifting Kenyans at the bottom of the economic pyramid, his administration decided to use them to help in economic transformation.
He said Saccos have witnessed rapid growth in the last few decades and boast of savings mobilization of over Ksh1 trillion, which is 30 per cent of the national savings.
“Saccos will play a key role in our financial inclusion agenda by being among the key intermediaries of disbursing the second and third products of the hustler fund,” he said.
He added that through the Saccos, they hope the fund’s liquidity and the nation’s saving culture will improve.
Ruto revealed that some of the steps his administration has taken to anchor cooperatives as key pillars in the economic transformation agenda include commitment to the implementation of Sessional Paper Number 4, 2020 on national cooperative policy, whose theme is promoting cooperatives for social economic transformation.
“The government also has a draft cooperative bill which is in the process of being introduced in Parliament,” he added, further revealing that plans were underway to amend the Cooperative Act to establish a central liquidity and shared services platform.
“This facility will cushion cooperative members against financial risks. It will also boost liquidity in the Sacco sub-sector by providing for short term inter-Sacco borrowing and access to the national payment system,” Ruto said.
Other measures include the revitalization of key production value chains.
“In the dairy industry, my administration has provided a mid-term budgetary provision of Ksh3.8 billion for the completion of the ongoing modernization of new KCC plant and equipment in the milk potential areas of Runyenjes, Narok, Miritini, Kitale, Kabianga, Eldoret and Dandora,” the president said, noting further that the government is also expanding the recently launched Ol’ Kalou potato processing plant from the current 500 metric tonnes capacity to 1000 metric tonnes.
He revealed that in anticipation of high production of potatoes in Nyandarua, the government will establish another potato cooling plant to serve Kipipiri, Kinangop and surrounding areas.
New plants will be established in Mumbobosi and Njoro.
He added that his administration is leveraging on cooperative structures in rolling out affordable housing, universal healthcare and pension schemes to Kenyans.
He encouraged MSMEs to transit into cooperatives to provide skills and building materials to the housing sector.
He advised cooperatives to reinvent and focus on the overall productive ecosystem of value chains available at the Ward level.
“Leaders in the cooperative movement should continue providing leadership and stewardship that foster business prosperity. They must embrace tenets of good governance and be guided by prudent business and commercial practices that will reflect members’ aspirations of growth and better livelihoods.” Ruto concluded.
By Felix Wanderi
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