Wavinya Ndeti who is seeking to replace Dr. Afred Mutua as the next governor of Machakos County is promising to pay greater attention to the cooperative sector, if elected in the August 8, 2017 general elections.
She told co-operators affiliated to Machakos Cooperative Union she will start a full ministry for cooperatives. The ministry will assist cooperatives in capacity building, women and youth mainstreaming, mitigation on climate change and value addition on cooperative products.
She will also devote Shs500 million to set up a revolving fund to support production, processing and marketing of coffee.
The union has 34 strong coffee growing societies with 60,000 individual members in Machakos and Makueni counties. Recently the union launched a milling plant in Machakos town to assist its members cut costs on transport, reduce losses made on long distance transportation and through thefts.
The mill recently launched branded coffee which is expected to sell locally and internationally.
Wavinya also promised to set up a cultural centre to assist women in handicrafts. She says she will spend another Shs500 million to put the centre. A cultural centre is long overdue because Machakos is the home of the world famous for sisal baskets – syondo – and wooden handicrafts.
Other projects that will get attention if Wavinya becomes governor include solar energy to reduce costs of power.
The farmers who met the politician in Kangundo had wanted assistance to raise coffee production from the current two kilos per tree to 30 kilos per tree. To do that farmers need improved training, availability of more affordable fertilizer, soil testing facilities, improved coffee varieties and access to finance.
The farmers had suggested transforming the Katumani Farmers Training Centre to enhance training for coffee farmers and the establishment of a county bank which saccos and micro finance organizations could support.