Nyeri based NewFortis Sacco has embarked on enrolling farmers and pastoralists in Laikipia County as members with a view of offering banking services and boosting food security in the region.
NewFortis chairman John Githinji speaking over the weekend during the opening of the Sacco branch in Nanyuki town said that the savings and credit society was engaging agricultural officers and other stakeholders in farming in Laikipia to assist farmers and pastoralists on how to improve their activities by getting access to credit facilities to improve on their returns.
“The government has always intended the country to attain food security and what we are telling our farmers is that NewFortis Sacco is willing to work with them to achieve that goal. We want to assist them rise again especially after the devastation on the economy brought about by Covid-19 pandemic,” Githinji said.
The chairman further said that the Sacco was keen on cashless transactions to minimize the threat of the Covid-19 spreading and thus had rolled out mobile money banking as well as installing Automated Teller Machines across all its branches.
He added that the main economic activity in Laikipia was farming and livestock breeding and that the Sacco had tailor-made products that suit farmers as they carry on with their ventures.
The Sacco whose majority members are teachers drawn from Nyeri has recruited over 3,000 members so far in Laikipia with other branches being in Nyeri, Karatina, Othaya towns and Nairobi and the latest being in Nanyuki town.
Nyeri and Laikipia governors Mutahi Kahiga and Ndiritu Muriithi who graced the function said that their administrations were committed to providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in their counties in line with the Central Region Economic Block (CEREB) vision of creating an economic powerhouse in Central Kenya.
Kahiga said that his government had embarked on training of all savings and cooperative officials to ensure prudent management of Saccos in the area.
“Many a time we have witnessed Saccos being run as personal enterprises leading to losses of members’ savings. This should now be a thing of the past as we seek to propel the cooperative movement to new heights,” Governor Kahiga said.
Governor Muriithi said that the growth of cooperatives would spur production by offering affordable credit to business people.
“This is the time of opportunity. I encourage cooperatives to favour those who are in production to create jobs, those processing honey, dairy products, and leather consider them first,” Governor Muriithi said.
By Martin Munyi