By Munene Maina.
Co-operative members in Nyandarua County are now more enlightened following training and education programmes conducted by County’s co-operative department, according to a senior official.
Nyandarua Co-operative director, Veronica Kahura said the training has enabled Sacco members to effectively engage their officials during annual general meetings.
“Before this, in most co-operatives, members hardly contributed or questioned anything. However, they are now cautious even when electing board members,” she said.
Poor management of co-operatives and ignorant members in Nyandarua in the past had led to collapse of several Saccos some of which are yet to recover. One of them is Ol’Kalou Farmers Sacco which is just a pale shadow of its former self. High rate of defaulters also remain a challenge to many co-operatives in the county.
To boost the co-operative movement the County government has registered Nyandarua County Co-operative Union to address challenges affecting the sector.
The County government has also set aside Sh20 million to establish a milk processing plant. The County is a leading producer of milk and potatoes. Ms Kahura noted that dairy co-operatives have benefited from eight milk coolers donated by the County government.
“Although milk production has not been stable most of dairy societies are doing quite well. Fluctuation on milk prizes also remains a challenge,” she pointed out.
To remain at the top of the game, several societies are doing value addition to their products. For such societies like Muki, which has a processing plant in Kinangop, milk prices have remained stable. The county has two registered potato societies. Saccos lead in membership with 91, 968 while dairy societies have 51, 465 total memberships.