The government will soon come out with a national policy on co-operative development.
Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed says the new policy will coordinate activities of co-operative societies at national and grassroots level to spur growth.
It will provide provisions relating to formation, registration and regulation of co-operative societies.
“The National Co-operative Development Policy, whose review is in the final stages of completion, will provide a roadmap on promotion, growth and development of sustainable co-operative enterprises at the national and county government levels,” said Mr Mohammed in a statement.
“We are working closely with the Council of Governors to ensure that there is harmony in the coordination of co-operative programmes in the country.”
Mr Mohammed said the Industrialisation ministry would continue to review the co-operative policy, laws and regulations, “as and when appropriate, to keep pace with the ever changing business environment.”
Co-operative societies in Kenya cut across all the key economic sectors, including agriculture, finance, transport and housing.
Official figures show that financial co-operatives, popularly known as savings and credit co-operatives (saccos), have mobilised savings to the tune of Sh600 billion with an asset base in excess of Sh800 billion.
Speaking recently, President Uhuru Kenyatta said co-operatives play a critical role in the Kenyan economy, terming them as vital engines for development.
“Through aggregation of value chain actors into co-operatives, agricultural marketing co-operatives have enhanced the productivity of agricultural commodity value chains such as dairy and coffee,” said President Kenyatta.
“My government is supporting the modernisation of the new Kenya Co-operative Creameries (new KCC) milk processing equipment as well as the coffee and dairy co-operatives and farmers.
“These and many other ongoing initiatives have resulted in increased productivity and returns to farmers.”
Housing co-operatives have contributed to provision of affordable and decent housing, especially for the middle and lower income segments of the population.
To establish a footprint of the Kenya co-operative movement in the global business arena, Mr Mohammed noted, the government is promoting co-operatives for Kenyans in the diaspora, through which members remit funds and saving for investments and other domestic needs.
To date, 10 such co-operatives have been registered.