This is a follow up of the lesson No. 1 that we learnt in my previous article titled How to Develop Kenya to a Middle Income Country. In that article I explained why we need to form Cooperative Societies in Kenya, if at all we need to transform Kenya into a middle income country through our Vision 2030 strategy.
The lower-middle-income status that was announced by the Kenya Government and the World Bank in the year 2015 was not a real one, it was a perceived one. Yes, the economy has expanded but only to a selected few in the urban centers and few, if not none, in the rural areas.
But How comes that the Kenya Economy had expanded but only a few felt it? It is because some sectors of the economy had expanded so rapidly, fast and furious, and made it look like Kenya as a whole has developed. These sectors are like
- ICT Sector
- Financial Sector
- Real estate sector etc.
Most of the above-named sectors are controlled by a few individuals and companies who understand this wise saying, ‘If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.’ Before 2017, The real estate sector players had embraced this saying and were smiling all the way to the bank, until when the bubble began to burst. Look at how the Sacco’s and Investment Cooperatives in Kenya are progressing well. It is the power of a united people with a common purpose.
Why should Kenyans adopt the model of Development through Cooperative Societies and Unions
According to Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO, –Agriculture is key to Kenya’s economy, contributing 26 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and another 27 per cent of GDP indirectly through linkages with other sectors. The sector employs more than 40 per cent of the total population and more than 70 per cent of Kenya’s rural people.
According to the above report, Agriculture contributes only 26% of Kenya’s GDP and according to World Bank, 74% of Kenyans in 2016 live in rural areas. This means 33 million Kenyans live in rural areas and out of these 33 million Kenyans, only approximately 13 million Kenyans eke a living out of Agriculture. And whatever they produce is just 26 % of the GDP. Don’t forget that this 26% can be linked to the GDP by Multinational Agricultural companies.
These 74% bucolic Kenyans have access to land whether big, small or just a tiny plot but do not utilize it for agribusiness. They just use it for subsistence agriculture if they are lucky to have some farm inputs.
Through Cooperative Societies and Unions the farmers can get:
- Affordable farm inputs
- Ready market for their produce sourced by the Cooperative Society’s and Union’s network.
- Outreach services from the County Government because Agriculture is a fully devolved sector.
- Affordable financial help from the Sacco formed through the Cooperative Society or Aid fund from either the County Government or National Government.
- Frequent education and training organized by the Cooperative Society or the County Government on how to better do their agribusiness.
- Fast and immediate help from County Government or National Government in case of a disease or pest problem affecting their crops.
- Savings and Investment mechanisms proposed by the Cooperative Society through the members.
- Insurance facilities for the crops or animals owned by the farmers
- Any other benefits not highlighted here.
Summary of Best Way for People to Form the Best Cooperative Societies in Kenya
Cooperative Societies in Kenya is the best way of doing things and the most rewarding way to go for all Kenyans.
Kenyan Farmers and other self-employed workers, have the power in their hands to unlock their potential through Cooperative Societies
All they need is to come together and communicate with each other with a purpose of progressing and the above processes will start to take shape.
Kenyan leaders should start championing for farmers and all people to embrace Cooperative Movement and see the potential that will be unlocked.
County Governments should budget for such eventualities that farmers might require monetary, capacity and informational help from them.