How to Develop Nakuru County Through Cooperative Societies
Nakuru County is one of the most cosmopolitan counties in Kenya. It is a county that can be used as a model to show case how Cooperative Societies can Develop Counties and be used to change lives of all the people living in the county. I will explain how to Develop Nakuru County Through Cooperative Societies.
Another thing is that Nakuru County has very diverse economic activities. If looked very keenly, we will find out that few Constituencies have different economic activities from the others.
Most of the residents in Nakuru County are farmers as highlighted in the following List of Economic Activities in every Constituency in Nakuru County.
For the residents in Nakuru County to move from low income status to middle income status, they MUST adopt the model of Cooperative Society Movement in their economic activities.
The salient tenets that should be put into considerations to Develop Nakuru County are;
- It is not the National or County Government that is supposed to develop Nakuru County through it residents but the residents through their Government.
- You have to labour hard, and very hard for that matter for you to have a firm foundation for your investment. I.e. Nothing comes on a silver platter. No one including the government will ever provide everything for you. The government can only supplement what you already have.
- You don’t need to have alot of money to start a meaningful business, you only need your passion, right attitude, a plan and people to hold you when you fall and most important God on your side.
- Understand this wise saying, ‘If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.’
I want us to look at how residents of Nakuru County can take advantage of this Cooperative movement to enrich themselves easily and legally.
From this list explained here, we can say that the all residents of Nakuru County can eke a living by doing whatever they do best and most cheaply wherever they are without going elsewhere to look for greener pastures. How?
Let us use Molo Constituency as an example of how to Develop Nakuru County
The major economic activities in Molo Constituency (Sub County) are;
- Potato Farming
- Sheep farming
- Horticulture and Floriculture
- Forestry and Lumbering
- Pyrethrum Farming
- Fruits farming
- Dairy Cattle Farming
- Poultry Farming
- Business and Investment
In areas around Molo and Turi, Potato Farming, Dairy Cattle Farming, Fruits Farming and Pyrethrum Farming are the main economic activities.
- Molo Potato Farmers Cooperative Society
- Molo Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society
- Molo Fruit Farmers Cooperative Society
- Molo Pyrethrum Farmers Cooperative Society
In areas around Elburgon and Mariashoni where the main economic activity is Potato Farming, Dairy Cattle Farming, Fruits Farming and The Timber Business, Farmers can mobilize themselves or the leaders can mobilize them to form Cooperative Societies such as
- Elburgon Potato Farmers Cooperative Society
- Elburgon Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society
- Elburgon Fruit Farmers Cooperative Society
- Elburgon Pyrethrum Farmers Cooperative Society
- Elburgon Timber Business Cooperative Society
Just to reiterate, when everyone does what he/she knows best and then joins hands with others of the same school of thought, then all the problems like initial funding from the National and County Government, Buying farm inputs, graveling of roads, finding ready markets in our cities and County Headquarters can be resolved.
It is never that hard to make money as a farmer. But if you do the farming alone,
- You may not get the quality seeds needed and at an affordable price, but if you are in a Cooperative Society the County Government can even provide the quality seeds at a very small fee or even free.
- You may not get the most affordable fertilizer, but Cooperative Societies with the help from the County Government can effectively source for affordable and quality fertilizer.
- In case of pests and diseases attacking your farming business, you will be all alone and you will bear the cost and losses alone, but as a Cooperative Society, you know by now effectively that they can tackle this.
- You may not get the best Information, education and advise on the best methods of farming. This is one of the best areas that Cooperative Societies come in handy by regularly educating and updating their members on the best and newest methods of farming.
- You WILL not get the best market for your produce and brokers will frustrate you.
- You will not get the expansion network for your farming such as value addition of your produce.
- Venture capitalists, investors and mostly the government will not find you because you are an individual with very little produce to make economic sense to them.
- It will be very hard to get government subsidies because government deals with big volumes that benefit a big number of people.
Now lets take an example of one Cooperative Society and how it can benefit members. Elburgon Potato Farmers Cooperative Society.
Potatoes are the second most sought after diet for Kenyans after maize. So it means the demand can never go down. Right now, there is an acute shortage of potatoes in Kenya.
Farmers in Elburgon need not be taught about potato farming. They know it like the palm of their hands.
So here we already have the potato demand, we have the workforce with the required skills and we have the land capital resource. The farmer can do the tilling of the land, weeding and harvesting. What is lacking?
- Quality potato seeds and in he right quantity.
- Affordable Fertilizer
- A ready market with an organised distribution supply that will edge out the brokers.
The above three can effectively be dealt with by the Cooperative Society with the help of the County Government.
Now if each farmer forms or joins a Cooperative Society of his/her choice, in all the Constituencies in Nakuru County then all the farmers will have something to earn money from.
Operations of Similar Cooperative Societies within one County
Now, lets say that we have three similar Dairy Farmers Cooperative Societies formed in three different Constituencies in Nakuru County, how do they operate?
Since they supply the same produce, they can join forces when it comes to bulk purchases of farm inputs and also when it comes to sale of produce to an entity that requires huge produce that cannot be produced by one Cooperative Society. e.g. an export market.
Also when it comes to processing and packaging the milk, it would be counter productive for each Cooperative Society to have its own Milk Processing Factory. They will need to deliver all the milk from all Dairy Farmers Cooperative Societies to one Processing Company for efficiency and capacity utilization.
The above can be replicated to all other Cooperative Societies formed in all other Constituencies in Nakuru County and also in other Counties in Kenya.
Develop Nakuru County Youths and Cooperative Societies
Finally, as it is evident that most youths do not own land. How do they take part in this revolutionary movement?
For the organised youths who are able to mobilize fund from institutions like Youth and Uwezo fund, good for them. But for those without that path of action then they can come in as employees in these Cooperative Societies or value adders to these products from the Cooperative Societies e.g. If there is wool from Sheep from a Cooperative like Molo Sheep Farmers Cooperative Society, the youths can form their own Cooperative Society and call it Molo Wool Dealers Cooperative Society and make products easily like Pillows, Cushions and other wool fabrics. This can be possible if the Constituency Polytechnic offers them such skills.
Conclusion on how to develop Nakuru County
If everyone in every corner of the county or country forms or joins a Cooperative Society of his/her choice then there will be no single product that will go missing on our shop shelves because almost everything will be produced locally.
Some of the products that we import don’t deserve to be imported, our own people can produce and efficiently distribute them to all corners of the country through Cooperative Societies.