US through USAID fund to invest Sh2.9 billion ($19.7 million) in Kenyan cooperatives via loans and capacity building.
The United States has announced two significant investments in Kenyan cooperatives totaling Sh2.9 billion ($19.7 million) over the following five years, with the goal of benefiting around 500,000 members through loans and capacity training.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide the financing, which will receive an additional boost of Sh1.3 billion ($9.3 million) from American and Kenyan private donors.
By enhancing breed genetics to boost milk output, the US will invest in cow cooperatives with the goal of raising small-holder farmers’ earnings and enhancing the well-being of cooperative members.
Additionally, it will provide funding for the creation of new digital management systems, climate-smart loans, and support for cooperative apex organizations in their attempts to localize and implement a new cooperative policy throughout Kenya.
The US investment is also geared towards reducing youth unemployment in urban and rural areas by developing youth worker cooperative knowledge products.
Small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) will likely receive loans totaling Sh6.6 billion ($45 million) as a result of the investments.
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The investment is part of the Cooperative Development Program (CDP), which is USaid’s µagship programme for cooperatives in Kenya.
USAID said the funding will help to address some of the key challenges facing the cooperative sector in Kenya including access to ´nance, capacity building, and digitalization.
“Cooperatives are a vital part of the Kenyan economy and society, providing essential services to millions of Kenyans,” said USAID Kenya Of´ce of Economic Growth Deputy David Rogers.
By the end of 2017, there were some 22,344 registered cooperatives in Kenya with a membership of 14 million, according to the Ministry of Cooperatives and MSMEs.