The Cooperative Society movement in Migori County is in the process of formulating the County Cooperative Policy Paper that aims at supporting cooperative members adequately.
Speaking at the event that brought together all Migori Cooperative entities representatives in one of the local hotels in Migori town, the County Chief Officer for Trade, Cooperatives and Tourism, Mr Michael Ngwala, said that the County Government was keen to support the growth and development of cooperatives within the region.
Mr Ngwala pointed out that the County had over 400 registered cooperatives but less than 100 were actively operational.
He promised that the County would strengthen these cooperatives so that they remain active and grow to become bigger entities that are good cogs to change the lives of their members.
The new policy would work towards addressing issues of development, new registration of cooperatives, cooperative culture among county citizens and to promote vibrant cooperative structure.
The Official also noted that the policy would be one that will incorporate technological advancements and innovations and streamline the scope in agricultural and mining sectors that were the backbone of the County.
Mr Ngwala stressed the need for the region to entrench a law within the policy that would allow the formation of a Migori Cooperatives Management Council Advisory (MCMCA) body to help address challenges facing many cooperatives like political interference, deduction from members that are never remitted to respective societies and, the independence of the cooperative body.
“We want to strengthen our cooperatives by giving them independent powers to be able to operate without any interference from any quarter,” Mr Ngwala stated.
Chief County Officer for Public Service Management, Mr Edward Kabaka, emphasized that The Migori County Cooperative Policy should aim to create a conducive environment for small cottage cooperatives to grow and become an instrument for social economic, cultural, political empowerment and wealth creation.
He stated that the policy would help cooperatives expand agricultural and mining sectors in the County by allowing cooperative members to easily access agricultural extension services like field officers and grants.
In attendance also was the Regional Coordinator, Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems Activity (KCDMS) Nyanza Region, Ms Beatrice Kirui, who lauded the policy, saying, one’s it is formulated it will promote development among the cooperatives, sensitize cooperative leaders on good governance and mentor cooperative members on the importance of cooperatives.
She said that the Policy will promote a vibrant cooperative culture and structure that will ensure that cooperatives are active and properly organised.
Ms Kirui also pointed out that KCDMS has been giving out grants to many cooperatives across the Nyanza region.
She, however, pointed out that those that got the grants had a well organised structure of governance and accountability.
“Last year in collaboration with Migori County we gave out a grant to tune of Sh4 million to Bukuria Coffee Cooperative that deals with coffee farming in Kuria”, explained Ms Kirui.
By Geoffrey Makokha and George Agimba