Challenges Faced by Co-operatives

 Some Societies are too small hence not sustainable and need to be merged.
 There is a serious shortage of Co-operative staff in the Counties which is hampering effective extension services as shown below:-  Approved establishment Inpost Variance
o 2999 1060 1939
o Total number of Districts (Sub Counties) – 240
o Manned Districts – 220
o Districts without staff – 20
o Total number of officers required for the twenty Districts – 186 made up of Co-operative Officers,
Clerks, Secretaries, Drivers and Support Staff
 Succession planning is a very serious challenge to the Co- operative Movement. The former Ministry of Co-operatives & Marketing has applied over the year to be authorized to recruit staff without success. Co-operative technical officers require thorough training to enable them facilitate Co- operative affairs in the County and to create wealth for Kenyans. The Movement is under serious threat because of
inadequate human resource capacity as indicated below.
o Officers above 55 years old – 153 officers
o Between 50 – 55 years – 100 officers
o Senior officers to retire in 2014 – 35 officers
 Recommendations of the Workload analysis should therefore be implemented.
 Inadequate working facilities:- Accommodation, Transport and Computers
 Capacity building issues-empowering members and management
 Inadequate financial resources
 Lack of Innovativeness/best practice and the new areas the movement can move to.
 Huge disparities in development, e.g. some SACCOs are ISO certified while others have stagnated at rudimentary levels.
 Selling bulk produce instead of marketing value added and branded products.
 Limited value addition and lack of control of marketing produce.
 Old and ageing co-operative membership.
 Sustainability of the movement requires registration of new co-ops and member recruitment.
Recommendations
 Entrenchment of Governance issues
 Capacity building of Co-op Leadership and Co-operative staff should be undertaken.
 Succession planning in the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development should be addressed to avoid a situation where the Co-operative Movement finds itself in a situation where there are no experienced Co-operative professionals to facilitate its operations.
 The workload Analysis by DPM should still be implemented through the Counties because the constitution is about equity and economic citizenship and therefore all Districts should be given an equal opportunity to learn about Co- operatives through professional staff; and to investCo- operatives are about wealth creation, poverty reduction and economic prosperity for Kenya.
 County Co-operative officers should be trained as trainers so that they can assist Societies to develop strategic plans for the Counties by the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development.

 Management reforms as well as use of ICT should be facilitated
 The Co-operative Development Fund should be operationalized and be utilized to mainstream youth and women participation in the movement.
 Working tools should be provided.
 The ministry needs support in generating credible data.
 One way of creating awareness is hosting workshops/conferences for Government officials to sensitize them on the role of Co-operatives and their diversity.
 Support value addition and access to markets-do away with brokers and middlemen.
 Developing National capacity in marketing value added and branded products as well as gathering market intelligence.
 Involvement of Youth in the Movement [membership and leadership]- succession planning.
 Come up with national co-operative member recruitment strategy and development of new societies/new co-operative products.
 There is need to carry out an evaluation of the dormant societies to determine whether they should be revived liquidated.
 The small Societies which are not economically viable should be merged.
 Members should be encouraged to recruit professionals who are also people of integrity.
 A bench marking exercise should be carried out to determine the way forward. [Western Union is a Credit Union from the U.S.A . and had started as a SACCO] Co-op Bank.

Compiled By:

Emily M. Gatuguta, OGW
Peter Kimotho
Samwel Kiptoo
Date: Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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