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Gov’t commended for implementing tea reforms

A Murang’a Sacco whose majority of members are drawn from tea and coffee farmers have hailed the government’s reforms in the tea sector.

Chief Executive Officer of Amica Sacco Mr. James Mbui has said the reforms have enabled their members to service their loans without many strains thus enabling the Sacco to make profit during the year when the country was battling Covid-19 pandemic.

Mbui who was addressing the Sacco’s Annual Delegates Meeting (ADM) in a Murang’a hotel said the tea reforms increased monthly pay to farmers which helped those with loans to service them.

Initially farmers used to wait for bonuses so as to service their loans but the tea reforms led to an increase of monthly payment thus easing farmers’ financial burden.

Mbui noted that as Covid-19 affected the livelihoods of many of their customers, the Sacco was forced to reschedule repayment of loans amounting to more than Sh. 500 million.

He also lauded the good performance in the coffee and dairy sectors saying farmers received better payment thus serving their loans with ease.

“We expect this year to do better in terms of growth of profit. Our customers especially those in the tea and coffee sector are currently getting better payments owing to reforms the government is doing in the agricultural sectors,” said Mbui.

The CEO said despite 2021 being a difficult year, the SACCO’s performance was impressive where the Sacco managed to attain between 24 and 27 per cent in most of their parameters.

He explained that total assets grew by 24.4 per cent to Sh. 5.6 billion up from Sh. 4.5 billion in 2020. “Our loan book expanded by 22.4 per cent up from Sh. 3.8 billion to Sh. 4.6 billion driven by aggressive lending as well as monitoring and collection efforts,” he added.

The CEO underscored the use of digital platforms saying they also greatly contributed to the growth of the Sacco last year.

“The pandemic disruption presented us with opportunities to accelerate our digital transformation journey. With the reduction of cash transactions and limits on volume of cash transactions, the majority of Kenyans have embraced mobile and internet-driven transactions and settlements.

“We continue to implement technology-driven products and services that respond to the evolving member habits, needs and wants,” he further explained.

The Sacco, Mbui said, will be releasing dividends on shares at five per cent; interests on members’ deposits at between six and 10 per cent depending on how much a member has invested.

By Bernard Munyao

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