President William Ruto has reiterated that the national government is keen on supporting cooperative societies to improve the economy of the country.
Speaking during the 101st Ushirika Day Celebrations at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, the president said the government will work with cooperatives to improve livelihood of Kenyans.
“My administration understands the importance of cooperatives. That is why we formed a standalone ministry for Co-operatives and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Development,” he explained.
He noted further that the government will establish County Aggregation and Industrial Parks (CAIPs) which will be operated by cooperatives.
“We have so far allocated Ksh4 billion to build markets and Ksh5 billion for the County aggregation and industrial park in every county,” the president said, adding further that the objective of the partnership with cooperative is to reduce post-harvest losses, eliminate predatory cartels and boost farmers’ earnings.
CAIPs are clusters of independent aggregation (collection) centres across the county to gain economies of scale for bulk purchasing and selling of various Agro produce in Kenya.
These centres will be located in each county within proximity to production areas to serve farmers and primary producers through collection, storage and sorting and even primary processing and value addition.
The president further revealed that the government will put in place new policies, including the establishment of a central liquidity facility to enhance efficiency and quality of Sacco services.
“The facility will also reduce operational risks encountered by Saccos. The changes will also facilitate short-term inter-Sacco borrowing and facilitate access to the national payment system,” he added.
Ruto said the government has waived tax for those intending to manufacture vaccines for livestock as well as the tax on animal feeds.
The head of state said the government now intends to double milk production in the country to 10 billion litres yearly to close in the gap of importing milk.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the government will work with the lawmakers to amend the Cooperative Societies Act to make it accommodative of the movement’s modern needs.
He urged farmers to group themselves in Saccos to help increase their bargaining power and protect themselves from middlemen.
Cooperatives and MSMEs Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said through SASRA, the government will ensure investments of Kenyans through Saccos are protected.
He noted that for smooth operation of cooperative the government will come up with new cooperative regulation to provide compressive framework in management of cooperatives.
“The government is at advanced stage of operationalizing the deposit guarantee fund to safeguard the savings of cooperative members,” he revealed, adding further that the transport sector has been streamlined because of matatu Saccos hence the government is also putting up measures of ensuring boda-boda sector is operated by Saccos.
By Obegi Malack
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