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Mismanagement of Coffee Societies Cause Alarm on Future of Coffee Cooperative Societies

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A recent audit has brought to light the heart-breaking realization that gross mismanagement of coffee societies in central Kenya has resulted in unpaid farmers.

The cooperative’s state department put up a performance audit on cooperative societies in Nyeri County. To be precise, 25 cooperative societies. The findings were inclusive of infinite difficult financial times and that the farmer’s dues were all so small and have been eaten away or rather dragged down by the poor management practices.

The report constructed insinuates that the appropriate professional skills are lacking and also the terrible management skills results in the destruction of multiple coffee cooperative societies in the region.

Out of the 25 examined coffee societies examined, 22 have been seeking financial aid to fund their operations. Such kind of behavior endangers the coffee societies as it puts them at risk of being closed down. The report issued some recommendations for the Kenyan Government whereby the Government ensures those cooperative societies’ rules on borrowing, which are inclusive of issuing approval before any coffee society seeks credit is enforced. Also, another recommendation was that the societies utilize a revolving fund of sh3billion for their own advances and as working capital.

Another key notation of the report was that the membership of the coffee society management committees was a little male chauvinistic and lacking in youth representation. An occurrence which challenges and threatens future operation of the coffee sector. Dormant shares not transferred over time and the declining of active members every year was also brought to light.

Ownership documents for the societies’ property not being in their possession were brought to light as well. Unless proper practices in data management are embraced, the report warned that coffee societies would continue to suffer poor management practice. Through the audit, it was discovered that many of the coffee societies’ staff management had received education between class 8 and form 4.

Lack of skills and poor pay for employees in the societies has also been a problem. Other challenges in the revival of the coffee sector are inclusive of ageing staff and high turnover of top managers. Some of the societies were also found to be using factory technology suitable to be referred to as ancient which dates back to the 1960’s and the 1970’s.

Regardless of all this a positive finding of the audit was that most of the coffee societies were lucky enough to benefit from a debt waiver and had been able to have their debt in their books of 2017 accounts written off. In spite of this, the farmers still continue to have their payments for coffee delivered.

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