On Tuesday, 31st January 2023, the County Government of Nakuru, through the Department of Trade, Tourism and Cooperatives, and USAID’s Kenya Small Business Development Centers (Kenya SBDC) program, partnered to train Coffee Cooperatives leaders from the County. The training was held at Kenya Assemblies of God (KAG) Youth Center, Maili Sita, in Bahati Sub-county. It aimed to empower Cooperatives’ Leaders to acquire skills and deepen their knowledge on: Leaders and Governance, Record Management, and Compliance. The training attracted leadership from seven coffee cooperatives in the County: Jumatatu, Solai, Ndemu, Mutungati, Mandizi, Kiremba, and Wikurie.
According to the principles of cooperatives, Education and Training for cooperative managers, employees, and representatives is vital to contribute positively to their cooperatives. Moreso, training the cooperatives’ leaders enables them to have skills, knowledge, and understanding to allow them to make decisions beneficial to the interests of the cooperative and its members.
The Chief Officer of Cooperatives, Nakuru County, Martin Kagai, noted that high-quality skills and behavior training remain one of the sector’s proven methods that the county administration will adopt for increased customer satisfaction and sales growth for coffee farmers.
“As coffee quality becomes increasingly important in the coffee sector, training the cooperatives’ leaders is critical to the sector’s long-term success,” said Mr. Kagai.
Mr. Kagai applauded the Kenya SBDC and the Directorate of Cooperatives for their move to empower cooperatives’ leadership. Further, he noted that the action is in line with Nakuru County Governor H.E Susan Kihika’s agenda of helping Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from exploitation by some unscrupulous middlemen.
Training helps leaders to provide a constructive and enabling environment for good governance to thrive. Good governance, the primary ingredient of a responsive and democratic structure, is premised upon, among other things, participation, equity and inclusiveness, accountability, responsiveness, transparency, and consensus building.
The Director of the Cooperative, Madam Josephine Ngandu, said the training would see all the coffee cooperatives and stakeholders inculcate and improve their trading principles, systems, and strategies.
Nakuru SBDC County Coordinator, Mr. George Makau, noted that the SBDC program has aligned with the Governor’s mandate in ensuring MSMEs increase their productivity and profitability and ultimately attain sustainable development. This will essentially help the County by increasing its tax revenues.
“As a program, we are keen to customize solutions to every MSME to ensure they reach their potential. If an MSME’s challenge is access to markets, we work with them to ensure they get access to markets,” said Mr. Makau.
Mr. Makau noted that Kenya SBDC is leveraging partnerships with stakeholders of MSMEs’ critical public and private organizations to work together to ensure MSMEs grow and thrive.
On behalf of the participants, the Chair of Coffee Cooperatives, Peter Wanyeki, thanked the County, under H.E Governor Susan Kihika, for organizing the training.
Indeed, the training was an eye-opener, which he said has inspired them to become more organized, confident, and professional in trading and managing their finances as coffee stakeholders.
The Kenya Small Business Development Centers (Kenya SBDC) is a five-year program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is implemented by Strathmore University Business School (SBS). The program will strengthen Kenya’s economic competitiveness and prospects for sustained growth by establishing a certified network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). SBS will build linkages between Kenyan and U.S Small and Medium Enterprises to transfer best practices and proven models from the U.S. -network of SBDCs. To read more about the program, click here
Article by Jane Mumo
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