Eldoret (UGPS): County Government of Uasin Gishu has a strong resolute to further springboard the Cooperatives Movement, with a target of lending up to half billion in coming years.
The County Government established a County Cooperatives and Enterprise Development Fund, a revolving financial scheme that gives out loans to cooperatives across the County.
To further muscle up the fund, a separate Department of Cooperatives and Enterprise, peeled off from Trade, Industrialization, Tourism and Cooperatives.
Speaking during a cooperatives meeting at the County Hall, Esther Mutai, the CECM for Cooperatives and Enterprise Fund, confirmed the County’s plan to increase allocation for the fund.
“The Governor is passionate about the cooperatives movement, it is for this reason that his Government continues to increase loans to cooperatives.
The County has been steadily increasing money to the fund each year, having loaned Ksh 55 million in 2015/16. Already, Ksh 49 million has been loaned out in 2017 for the 2017/18 financial year.
However, during the meeting, cooperatives that have borrowed from the fund, were asked to repay the loans for the fund to revolve and grow.
As a way to manage and ensure expansion of the Fund, the County Government will set up an audit team that will be checking through the cooperatives’ books.
This was said after unsteady repayments of borrowing were realized in the past financial years.
Also, farmers were asked to consider venturing into processing and value addition for agricultural products.
Dr Catherine Barmao, a nominated MCA and member of The County Assembly Of Uasin Gishu Cooperatives and Enterprise Committee, emphasized on making use of cargo flights at Eldoret International Airport, by exporting products.
She said: “If we consider say, processing maize flour, we shall sell a 2kg packet for Ksh 120 just after buying a 2kg tin for Ksh 70.”
“Similarly, the milk that we sell for Ksh 50, will be later sold for Ksh 150 if processed into yoghurt, we need to think seriously about value addition,” she closed.