Innovative credit schemes will economically empower farmers making up half of the 174 deposit taking saccos (DT-Saccos) membership.
A just released survey by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra) shows 50 male-dominated farmer-based saccos account for 47.81 percent in membership or 2,286,054 out of the 4,781,212 registered membership.
Of this membership, said Sasra chief executive John Mwaka, 789,403 members were female, 1,343,632 were male while the gender details of 153,019 members were missing.
“Although the 50 farmers’-based saccos have three times more members than the combined 43 teacher and the 35 government saccos, the corresponding proportion of the total assets and total deposits held are three times less.
“As of last December, farmer DT-Saccos held Sh34.57 billion in deposits, being a paltry 10.11 percent of total deposits and Sh51.44 billion in total assets which is a paltry 10.39 percent of all assets,” he observed.
This compares poorly with the 43 teacher-owned entities that control Sh177.9 billion in assets, being 35.5 percent of the total assets and Sh119.1 billion in deposits or 34.8 percent of total deposits.
The 35 government saccos hold Sh186.6 billion assets, being 37.7 percent of total assets and Sh131.2 billion in deposits or a 38.4 percent of total deposit stake.
Sasra found that while agriculture had huge economic growth potential, farmer saccos lacked adequate capital to fund member activities whose ‘small’ savers gave them access to small loans.
“Majority of members of the farmer saccos make very little savings and equally receive minimal amounts in credit facilities from their saccos, than the members of teacher and government-based saccos that control up to 72 percent of wealth within DT-Saccos,” observes the report.
Farmer saccos hold a 58.88 percent stake or 208,417 of the 353,970 members aged between 18 years to 24 years, a 26.88 percent stake (3012,459) in the 25-year to 35-year bracket, a 26.4 percent (364,112) and a 35.55 percent stake (490,868) for sacco members aged between 51 years to 64 years.
Farmers make up 60.24 percent share of sacco members above 65 years or 158,693 of the 263,435 members.