Written by Mulindi Carey Adekhela
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Hamisi District farmers of Vihiga County have been called upon to join the cooperative sector in large numbers to strengthen the movement with an aim of benefiting to enhance their agricultural output.
Mr. James Legogo the District Cooperative officer, who addressed farmers in marking the 90th World Cooperative Day, affirmed that the government was working tirelessly for welfare of the poor and marginal farmers.
Legogo appreciated the region for being among pioneer districts to register with cooperatives with Jeburok Farmers Cooperative Society being the 927th out of 1300 cooperative in the Register of Societies in Kenya.
He said the cooperative played part in the development of the region as it was distributing coffee outside the district earning the district revenue, but since its collapse the region lags behind.
“We are doing our level best to see to it that we revive these cooperatives so that our people can start getting money,” he said.
The officer encouraged farmers to sell their products through cooperatives so as to avoid exploitation from middle men and also join hands so as to pull resources together.
The officer asked the cooperatives to rebrand themselves so as to catch the attention of the youth since they are young and vibrant and could play a major role in cooperatives.
Despite all these the officer said they are faced with a challenge of poor leadership. They lack leaders who can steer cooperatives to the next level.
“In Hamisi we lack visionary leaders who can drive us forward,” he lamented.
He also regretted the culture of some members escaping upon receiving of loans a practice that destabilizes the cooperatives. He therefore, called upon members who have outstanding loans to repay so as other members can also benefit.
Hamisi Public Health officer Mr. Evans Embenzi who was the guest in the event, encouraged boda boda operators to join hands and form a cooperative to develop and also to expand their business enterprise.
Mr. Embenzi encouraged cooperatives to loans and invests in infrastructure so as to develop the regions.
“In order to develop our people should take loans and invest in infrastructure so to put Hamisi on Map.”
He encouraged the locals to embrace fish farming as it has become a lucrative business. Mr. Embenzi added that there was need to educate the locals on management tips so as to avert cases of misusing cooperative funds on leisure. He also urged cooperatives to register with the CDF so as benefit from the kitty.
The International Day of Co-operatives is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July.
The aim of the day is to increase awareness of co-operatives and promote the movement's successes and ideals of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace.
This year's theme - "Cooperative enterprises build a better world" - links to the observance of the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives.
It seeks to encourage the growth and establishment of cooperatives all over the world, and to recognize the actions of cooperatives in helping to achieve internationally agreed upon development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals.
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