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Youths Urged to Join Cooperative Societies

Youth in Elgeyo Marakwet have been urged to join farming cooperative societies to inject new blood in them and understudy the aging leaders for ease in leadership successionMarakwet West sub county Cooperatives Officer Stanley Kigen noted that joining cooperatives also makes youths more accessible, making it easier for the government to support them in their agricultural activities.

He noted that there has been a decline in the performance of the agriculture cooperative societies which could be attributed to the aging membership and flood of brokers and middlemen in the sector.

He observed that the number of cooperative societies as well as members has significantly dropped yet for a cooperative to be successful, there is need for large membership as the bottom line for cooperatives is pooling resources together.

Kigen added that failure by the young generation to patronise and take over leadership of the societies with most of its members being above 65 years have weakened the capital base over the years making them unable to buy produce from members.

He also attributed the poor performance of the farmers societies to the depressed markets and competition from financial lending institutions, besides the collapse of then vibrant industries like pyrethrum and cotton-based industries that sourced raw materials from farmers.

However, he noted that Savings and Cooperative Societies [Saccos] have grown and progressed greatly in membership and share capital with members benefitting through access to loans and dividends.

Kigen alluded to the fact that if the agri-based societies in the region were rehabilitated /modernized they would offer employment to the youth and enable farmers to earn good rewards from their labor.

By Rennish Okongo


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