The co-operative movement in Kenya was found in the beginning of 20th Century. Africans were allowed to form co-operative societies in the 1950’s when they were permitted to grow cash crops. The attainment of independence in 1963 became the turning point in the movement. It has ever since grown in terms of societies membership and share capital/member deposits.

The firs Kenya co-operative society, Lumbwa Co-operative Society, was formed in 1908 by the European farmers with the main objective of purchasing fertilizer, chemicals, seeds and other farm inputs and then market their produce to take advantage of economies of scale. In 1930, Kenya Farmers Association was registered as a co-operative society to take over the role of supply of farm input played by Lumbwa Co-operative Society. The African smallholder farmers fought for formation of their own co-operatives and later in 1950’s they were allowed to promote and register co-operatives for cash crops like coffee and pyrethrum. Consequently at independence in 1963, there were 1,030 co-operatives societies with 655 being active with a total membership of 355,000.



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  1. […] Short History of the Co-operative Movement in Kenya […]

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