MACHAKOS COOPERATIVE UNION NEWSLETTER
From CEO’s desk ………………...page 2 Interview with Chairman…………...page 3 How farmers benefit from MCU ....page 5 Current state of MCU………….page 8 What you need to know to invest in greenhouse………….page15 From our affiliates ………………...page 6
From the CEO’s Desk
‘Doors to Growth Have Opened’
t is with great joy and pleasure; that I take this opportunity to introduce this special Newsletter highlighting the growth and achievements of the Machakos Cooperative union (MCU) and its members and affiliates.
Saving in transportation costs
Saving in milling losses
Direct and indirect employment
Reduced milling charges
Opportunity to sell a local brand of cof-
It is all by the grace of the Almighty God that the doors to growth have opened to the Union and the face of MCU has been renewed.
fee The ownership of the facility is open to all following a resolution by the cooperators that issues of shares be extended to likeminded individuals, institutions, plantations, sacco’s and corporations. Make sure you aren’t left out. Get further details from MCU offices.
Mr. Martin Malila, CEO MCU
On March 28, 2013, MCU will mark its 42nd birthday with renewed enthusiasm, renewed hope and a return to its former place of greatness. The journey so far has had many ups and downs. I sincerely thank the members and our affiliates for rallying behind their organization even when the tides were high and threateningly against us. I am glad to assure you that the major challenges of the past are now history. As a cooperative enterprise our guidelines are contained in our Strategic Plan (2010-2015) which doubles as the benchmark to our performance. We are on course to realize our Vision “to be recognized as a center of excellence in service provision to cooperatives and their members”. Coffee Mill The cooperative mood in this region is full of excitement following MCU’s acquisition of a Coffee Mill and laboratory equipment. It is an achievement that would not have been possible if the cooperatives were not in solidarity with the Union. The mill is set to start operating soon and farmers are upbeat on the value addition benefits accruing and which include
Bylaws MCU has further reviewed its bylaws to accommodate the contentious issue of women and youth. We are aware that when the global economy is still struggling we cannot afford to ignore the potential for women and youth and further that when we liberate the economic potential of women and youth we elevate the economic performance of communities, the region and the nation. Under the wise guidance and leadership of the elected Board of Directors, MCU continues to thrive and prosper. Thanks to the staff for their commitment to duty and to the editorial team for their good work on this Newsletter. Thanks too, to our partners for your continued support. GOD BLESS MCU, GOD BLESS COOPERATORS, GOD BLESS ALL! MARTIN MALILA, CEO
Volume 1, Issue 1
Interview with Patrick Katingima
Mr. Patrick Katingima, Chairman MCU
MCU Charts a New Way to Help Counties Develop The Machakos Cooperative Union is back on its feet, ready for the expanded role created by the new constitution. And its Chairman Mr. Patrick Katingima,is confident about the future. “To start with, we have just received our coffee mill,” he says. The coffee mill is expected to become a basis for union’s enhanced role in Machakos and Makueni counties. “With the mill, we shall enable coffee farmers to make more money from their coffee. We can fill in the role that was left by the Kenya Planters Cooperation Union when it collapsed.” The key role of the KPCU, the national umbrella body for coffee societies in Kenya, was to help coffee cooperatives in mill-
ing and marketing coffee and in related services. Since it collapsed, a myriad of middlemen, many of them unscrupulous—sprung up. The effect was to make coffee price fluctuations so wide that farmers could not plan. “ With the mill, the Union plans to add value to the coffee produced by its farmers.,” Mr. Katingima says. The union will take advantage of the repeal of the colonial law that prohibited local coffee roasts, packaging and selling. The law was amended in 2002 and now allows roasting and marketing of coffee. The Union’s programme is two-forked— to mobilize funds from farmers and the business community in the two counties and to use those funds to improve farming and businesses in the regions. “This is in keeping with Vision 2030 one of whose pillars is food security,” the Chairman says.
Page 4 Vision 2030 is the Kenya Government blue print for turning the country to middle level economy by the year 2030. It identifies three key pillars— the basic areas that must grow or improve for the economy to move forward . There is the social pillar, the political pillar and then the economic pillar. Within the pillars are areas and projects which must develop. Thus under the economic pillar, we have agricultural and the famous Business Process Outsourcing, the key project of which is the Konza Technology City, being constructed by the Government some 20 kilometers away from Machakos Town along Mombasa Road. Mopping up money is one of the things the union is doing to increase availability of low-interest credit to farmers to improve agricultural productivity in Machakos and Makueni counties “We have noticed that farmers and traders in the area have much money that could be better utilized if mobilized. A good example of this is Kawethei Farmers Cooperative Society who managed to mobilize Shs 7 million in one and a half years. “Women groups and merry-go-rounds can also be mobilized through Village Savings and Loan (vsls) to create resource bases for development in the counties. What we are telling them is that with the funds mobilized, such groups can form saccos through which they can lent each other money at affordable terms and conditions. They can also join existing saccos from where the can get loans on easy terms. That way, they can avoid expensive loans from commercial banks. In this exercise, the MCU is joining hands with other cooperatives such as the Universal
MCU Outlook Traders Sacco and Masaku Teachers Sacco to undertake joint promotions. “Groups are free to join any cooperative they choose, if they want to join an existing cooperative instead of starting their own sacco,” Mr. Katingima explains. The Union is also encouraging societies to set up sacco to mobilize resources as well as to offer cheap loans to their members. Already a good number of societies have launched saccos and are doing quite well. These include Kithangathini, Kikima, Kakuyuni.Matungulu and Kangundo rural saccos. The Union is investing money in subsidized farm inputs such as seeds and fertilizers to assist farmers to access the commodity at cheaper prizes. Recently it spent as much as Shs7 million in purchasing the items and within a short while, it was sold out. “the purpose is to stabilize prices of farm inputs which at times increase to more than twice the normal prices. For example the price of 2kg packet of seed which retails at Shs 360/- can sometimes rise to over Shs600/“Fertilizer that used to cost Shs2,500/- exclusive of transport is now supplied to the farmer by the Union through their societies at the cost of Shs1,750/-, meaning cheaper prices and no transport costs.. That releases money to the farmers to improve their farming,” says Mr. Katingima The Union has also established merchandise stores in Tala, Kangundo and Kakuyuni and is in the process of establishing others in Kikima, Machakos and Kithangathini. “The whole purpose is to reduce the cost of farming, increase productivity and profits for the farmer,” says Mr. Katingima.
Volume 1, Issue 1
How Farmers Benefit from MCU Subsidized farm inputs are one of the key benefits An important aspect of the Machakos Cooperative Union is its merchandise stores section. The purpose is to assist member farmers to get farm inputs at the lowest price possible. The head of the section Mr. Stanley Muli who is also the Deputy CEO, says that in fact, all the products that the farmers buy through the union are subsidized.. “This is a great benefit for member farmers, especially in the current unpredictable farm input price fluctuations,” he says. The products consist of farm chemicals (herbicides, fungicides), seeds, and fertilizers. Government subsidized farm products for farmers are also offered through the union. For example, the government offered its subsided fertilizer through the Union. This benefited some 20 union coffee farmers. “It greatly helped lower the costs of producing coffee for the farmers,” says Mr. Muli.
By Stanley Muli The Union serves farmers in Machakos and Makueni counties. And recently it has established stores in Tala, Kangundo and Kakuyuni to take services closer to its members. Other stores are planned for in Machakos town, Kikima and Kithangathini. Other services offered by the Union to member societies include transport for coffee and general transport and a van for educational tours It also provides insurance services through Masaku Insurance Agency which represent Cooperative Insurance Company (CIC). Policies include fire, burglary, general personal accident covers and insurance for money in transit. The union also lobbies on behalf of member societies. For example, it has been in the forefront in negotiating favourable terms on coffee cess and environmental issues with Nema .The Union is encouraging its
members to be certified. The international market is becoming more demanding, requiring that goods meet certain criteria to be sold. To avoid future problems, the union is encouraging its members to undertake coffee certi-
“The international market is becoming more demanding requiring that goods meet certain criteria ” fication to match the international market quality standards. “It helps to have a strategic plan in place if you want to be certified,” says the Deputy CEO. Societies that want to be put in place strategic plans are facilitated by the Union. Strategic plans ensure that the society operates in line with modern management practices.
Current State of the MCU Statistics record the steady progress made over the years The Machakos Cooperative Union (MCU) was one of the producer cooperatives established in the 1960s to assist African farmers to grow and market cash crops in Kenya. The Union’s original aim was to market coffee for its member producers. Over the years, the Union has grown and expanded its role. And today, it is an umbrella organization for 79 primary organizations involved in coffee, cotton, dairy, horticulture, and sisal handicrafts activities. These are spread over with MCU Headquarters 15 districts in Machakos in Machakos Town and Makueni counties, serving over 60,000 members. Its range of services include leveraging partner support on behalf of its members and supporting members through the production, processing and global marketing of their diverse, high quality agricultural and handicraft products.
over 10,000 sisal bulbils (seedlings) and expects to plant many more in the next rainy season. Each group member is also planting 100 sisal plants on their own farms.
Export and Marketing Since 1988, the MCU’s Export Department has been assisting handicraft and local women groups to market their products both locally and internationally. Services include pricing of products, quality control, and packaging and labeling, preparing export documents and coordinating payment to producers and buyers. The Union also assists with research, education and training in product development.
Annual Production in KGs 16,000,000
Women Member Groups
Affiliates include 26 women’s groups that produce stylish sisal baskets (as well as sisal plates, tablemats, hats, floor mats, etc.), which MCU markets internationally.
MCU assists these women groups acquire raw materials especially in the face of the current climate change which has led to raw material inadequacy, MCU plans to grow 100,000 sisal plants to assist the women groups. It has already established demonstration plots for all its women’s groups. One group, Kamakya – a cluster of three groups with a total of 120 members, has planted
10,000,000 8,000,000 6,000,000
2,000,000 0 2009
Volume 1, Issue 1 YEAR
CHERRY MBUNI ACTIVE NO FARM- TREES KGS KGS ERS
MILLING MKTG COST COST
2008 / 09
2009 / 10
2010 / 11
Coffee production statistics
1,184,942,747 16,366,638 23,995,544
MCU Recent Activities to Assist Members Some of MCU’s recent activities include:
Leveraging Partnerships to Provide Support Primary cooperatives benefit from the union’s links to international networks such as the World Fair Trade Organization, which enforces adherence to a code of practice that includes fair payment for products, accountability and transparency, care for the environment, and no use of child labour. MCU is also a member of Cooperation for Fair Trade in Africa (COFTA) and the Kenya Federation For Alternative Trade (KEFAT). The latter organization was a partner in WIEGO’s Women Organizing for Fair Trade project. The Union has done a lot of projects in collaboration with its customers abroad to provide assistance to MCU affiliate members. These include: •
With funding from a customer organization called Peter Cowley Africa Trust in UK, MCU established a dispensary and a ward to serve the Mathima women’s group community. The same customer assisted women’s groups with beehives.
Through a German customer, El-Puente, 1965 households belonging to 23 women’s groups working with MCU in drought-affected areas received maize.
An ongoing partnership with Swedish Cooperative Centre, an NGO, is helping to make possible computerization, establishment of tree nurseries, enhanced youth and women participation, greater food security, certifications, training and education.
Formation of village saving and loan associations for women’s groups
Agribusiness projects to ensure sustainability
Eradication of poverty through adult literacy classes
Climate change prevention and mitigation projects (e.g. construction of energy saving stoves, planting of tree nurseries)
Establishment of HIV/AIDS support groups
Capacity building on record keeping
The most recent MCU initiative is the establishment of a coffee mill. MCU has undertaken the establishment of coffee farms to create a catchments for raw materials and a secure source of coffee for roasting.
TOTAL SALES PER YEAR 2009 21%
With support from the University of Mexico, MCU set up the Kisesini Dispensary to serve all the groups from the south, Women in this area previously had no local assistance when they were in labor or had sick children as the nearest hospital was 30 km away.
2009 2010 2011
From Our Affiliates
Kakuyuni FCS Transforming a Rural Community Diversification targets youth and women expand and renew membership
crop and depends on short rains that come between October and November.
The average acreage is about 0.5 acres with an averThe Society was registered with the ministry of Coage of over 300 trees per farmer. Coffee is the main operative and cash crop and recently the farmers have started enMarketing in gaging in horticulture. and dairy farming. 1961 with the The society is managed by an elected board of nine main objective members. Each member represents an electoral of providing zone. services to coffee farmers to alleviate povakuyuni FC diversification projects aim at erty in the comnot only increasing incomes for farmers but munity. Farmalso involving the youth and women. In ers in Kakuyuni deed, parents are being encouraged to donate a miniplanted their mum of 50 trees to become members. The cooperafirst coffee tive provides seedlings in a project funded by the Chairman Mr. Meshack Mutisya trees in I958 . Swedish Cooperative Centre and Solidaridad. Other addressing members activities aimed to encourage the youth to take up The society has farming include fish farming, bee-keeping, poultry over 1,540 active members spread within the five wet mills namely; Kakuyuni, Ngumuti, Kwa Kithama , CS. 0866 KAKUYUNI F.C.S LTD 2011/2012 CROP YEAR Muusini and Kwa KitoFAC CHERRY CLEAN SALES TORY KGS KGS SOLD KGS RATIO KSHS RATE thya,. KAKU‐ The society is surrounded 17,180 all 32.35 121,445 4,911,376.67 by the scenic hills of YUNI
Machakos about 1,100 NGUMUTI metres above sea level. The area is endowed with KWAKI‐ deep red sandy volcanic THAMA soils. The average rainfall MUUSINI is about 1500-1600mm. The rains are in two sea- KWAKI‐ TOTHYA sons, short and long rains. Early crop is the main TOTAL
4,475,630.25 22,372,024. 28
Volume 1, Issue 1
and multistorey farming. The result is that the society has now a total of 127 youth, 70 males and 57 females. Another successful diversification project is a village savings and loans schemes. So far 1010 members are using the services of these schemes. Of those 611 are females and 399 are males, By October 2012, annual savings were Shs 5,263,115 with loans amounting to Shs 24,820,572. Youth constituted 143 of the total members and had borrowed loans Mr. Sammy Kitavi (in a hat), the societyâ€™s best farmer is awarded. He is amounting to Shs 671,574. from Ngumuti factory The balance of the funds coffee friendly trees in the coffee farms to provide raised through the village schemes are banked at the shade for the coffee. It follows findings that coffee Kakuyuni Rural Sacco, a facility started for the purplanted under shades improves quality and yield and pose and which also adds to the income of members. help to attract rain. Program Shade, another diversification project is sponsored by Swedish cooperative Centre to plant
Certification Kakuyi FC is the first society to have both UTZ cafĂŠ and Fair Trade certification. The certification has enabled it to improve coffee quality and maintain high prices both of which have contributed to improved incomes to members. Fair Trade is concerned with conditions and payments under which staff and farmers produce coffee. For example, there should not be child labour and payments should be commensurate with work. Because of this, they set a reserve price below which coffee should not be sold, thus protecting farmers from exploitation by middlemen. UTZ on the other hand is concerned with environmentally sustainable production.
Volume 1, Issue 1
Nduki Agro-Chemicals Ltd We congratulate Machakos Cooperative Union on the launch of their Coffee Milling Plant. It is a move that will greatly assist farmers to reduce their costs of production and increase their incomes. We are happy to be associated. To ensure you get healthy crops, Nduki Agro-Chemicals Ltd supplies a range of products from reknowned world suppliers and distributes to all outlets in coffee growing zones •
BASF– Suppliers of Fanstac for control of berry borer
Twiga Chemicals– Suppliers of Sumithion and Iscop
Bayer—suppliers of Bulldock, Wuxel etc
Yara (EA) Ltd
BRANCHES P.O. Box 1278 Machakos. Tel 0711-243927 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.nduki.co.ke Nunguni Tel: 0706— 307286 Kibwezi Tel: 0711243973
MCU Outlook KINGSTONE HARDWARE
MARY MUENI MUTUKU - MALI MALI KAMUTONGA NICHOLAS MBUVI MUSYIMI - CHINESE SHOP EASTLEIGH. MACHAKOS SUSAN MUTHONI MUSYOKI - MUMO STORES NGOLENI KOMESHA STUDIO FELISTERS MUMBUA MUKITI
FELISTERS MUMBUA MUKITIKIKIMA BONIFACE KYALO MUTUKU
ANNA NDINDA JOHN-KATHIANI MARKET KATHIANI ANNA NDINDA JOHN-NGOLENI MARKET
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NGOLENI ABEDINECO MULANDI DEON - PETROL STATION SALAMA ELIZABETH MUENI KIOKO
ANICENT MUTUKU K1NGOO-KIVANDINI MARKET KIVANDINI-MWALA PESA INVESTEMENT
UKALA PRODUCE STORE
MIRET ENTERPRENUR MWALA BUS PARK
GAZA FILLING STATION
JULIUS KOTIKASH GIDEON
MIRET ENTERPRENUR MAKUTANO MWALA NAIVAS NAIVAS
KIAMBA MAL MACHAKOS MWATU WA NGOMA RD MKS
NGEI RD MACHAKOS
ANICENT MUTUKU KINGOO-MBIUNI MARKET MBIUNI
PROTUS MATHEKA MWILU-WAMUNYU MARKET WAMUNYU
PROTUS MATHEKA MWILU-YATHUI MARKET YATHUI ECONOMIC CREDIT TRADERS LIMITEDMUTISYA DRIVING SCHOOL MACHAKOS
FLORENCE NJOKI WAWERU
ENGEN KENYA LTD -KYUMBI
BENSON MUSYOKA MUTUA & EUNICE MUKAI MUSYOKA T/A BENE AGROVETMBUMBUNI DR. MICHAEL MUSYOKI KAMALA T/A KATHIANI PHARMACY MACHAKOS DR. MICHAEL MUSYOKI KAMALA T/A KATHIANI PHARMACY KATHIANI NICHOLAS MUSYIMI NZIOKA ASCARJERUTO NDEI MASAI CLEMENT WAMBUA KYULE
WINSTONE MUTUA YAMBU
SUSAN MUGURE DAVID MUTISYA T/A SUETEX SUPPLIERS KIMUTWA JOEL MUTUKU KAMWELE & BETH MWONGELI MUTUKU T/A KAMUELE & KAMWELE FURNITURE MART MACHAKOS PETER MULEI & SONS SUPERMARKETPIONEER MACHAKOS PETER MULEI & SONS SUPERMARKETXPRESS MACHAKOS
BENSON WAMBUA KINGOO-KAVIANI MARKET KAVIANI BENSON WAMBUA KINGOO-ITHAENI MARKET ITHAENI SEBASTIAN SIMON MWANGANGI NDAKA
DANIEL KYALO MUSUU-ENZAI MARKET ENZAI DANIEL KYALO MUSUU-SALAMA MARKET014 SALAMA DAVID MALEI MUYA
ESTHER MUMBUA KIILU
MBALUKA MWANGANGI NGULI AND ELIZABETH NDITIVU MBAL KATULANI MWANGANGI DANIEL
BENJAMIN NZESYA NZUVE
RUTH MBITHE NDETI-WAMUNYU WAMUNYU PAUL MUSYOKA MUTENDWA
PROTUS MATHEKA MWILU-KATANGI MARKET KATANGI
BENJAMIN KIEMA MUTUI T/A KIENDO INVESTMENTS KYUMBI KYUMBI
ZOOM FUELS MKS
JOHN MULWAMATOLO- UNIQUE SHOP MUTITUNI ENU TOURS & TRAVEL
MASII MUTISO NASON MUNYASYAT/A UVAINI STOCKISTS & HARDWA MBUMBUNI STELLAMARIS NDUNGE KIMEU KITHAAYONI
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JULIANA NDANU DAVID T/A THE SERIES STORES KATHIANI WILLIAM GERALD MUTHUVA T/A ESTMAT ENTERPRICES KASUNGUNI
Volume 1, Issue 1
Special Benefit for Farmers Connected with Makamithi A great advantage of shopping for your farm inputs from Makamithi Enterprises is that you can be guaranteed of the effectiveness of what you buy. They are the same inputs the owners use at their 25-acre farm which has won the Farmer Number One prize at the ASK show. That was in 2007.
needs is to feed well and sleep comfortably in a good environment, sufficient water and regular dipping to control diseases.”
Machakos town sells animal feeds, fertilizers, seeds, dewormers, agricultural inputs, farm tools and implements.
A good cow that is about to birth will cost you not less than Shs120,000/-.
Makamithi are also distributors for Unga Feeds and Kenchic.
On the first birth, your cow will bring you between 20 to 30 litres a day while on subsequent births, it may bring you over 40 litres.
Jennifer Mangu, the Director at Makamithi is happy with the results her mixed farm. Of the dairy farming, she says, “Dairy farming is easy. What a cow
Makamithi, located at Mbitini House, opposite KFA in
“We are actually the agent for Kenchic in the lower eastern region,” says Jennifer. “We distribute broilers, layers and kenbro and day old chicks.We offer animal insemination (AI and all the related items.”.
MAKAMITHI ENTERPRISES LTD Buy your farm products at Makamithi Enterprises Ltd. We sell: Also distributors for Kenchic and Unga Feeds for stockists
• • • •
Farm tools and implements Day old chicks and A.I services
LOCATION: Mbitini House, (opposite KFA,) Machakos town CONTACT: Tel: 044-21905, Mobile: 0733-252573. Fax 044-21905 Email: Jennifermangu@yahoo.com
What You Need to Know to Invest in Greenhouse Green houses are fast becoming the preferred way to control weather changes in Kenya. And although initially thought of as a farming business for the well-todo white-collar workers, the variety of shapes and sizes of green houses has brought down the prices so that they have become affordable to practically everyone.
such as plants added, the total initial year investment will be Shs454,000, But in that initial year, it will bring you a total of Shs920,000/-, according to Mr. Mutava.
Green Hortgardens Kenya Ltd (GHKL) is one of the company’s supplying green houses. Its managing director, Mr. Fredrick Kitavi Mutava says, “We can build a green house according to the requirements of the farmer. It can be large or small – even for your kitchen garden. But of course, the stand size is 8 by 15 meters.”
A farmer should remember that crops planted in green houses must be of good economic value in order to make meaningful returns. Current crops under green house production are tomatoes – which leads the pack peppers, and eggplants. Other crops that can do well in green houses include cucumbers, melons, broccoli, radishes, okra, salads and lettuces, parsley, coriander, spinach, beetroots, garden peas or garlic.
That size, according to Mr. Mutava will cost you Shs150, 000 and will hold about 5,000 plants. After the inputs such as plants and labor the cost of the complete set-up for the first year will be some Shs 280,000. And what is good news is that, according to Mr. Mutuva, you will recover your costs in that same year.
To reap the full benefit of your green house, you must have some knowledge of basic things such as farm maintenance and management as well as marketing. Good maintenance includes crop rotation to minimize pests and other crop diseases, proper use of chemicals, proper ventilation and temperature control.
“In the first year, you will make Shs460,000/- which is way above the expenditure,” he says.
GHKL provides intensive training for the farmers and their workers. Mr, Mutava says, “We provide long lasting metallic houses, drip irrigation units, green house seedlings and after sales service. We also do marketing for both local and export markets.”
Another popular green house size is 8 by 30 meters. That kind of house will cost you Shs250,000 to make at the GHKL – which is the cheapest. With other costs
Green Hortgardens Kenya Ltd Green Hortgardens Kenya Ltd (GHKL) provides quality cost effective fabricated green houses that enable rural and urban farmers to produce fresh vegetables for domestic and export markets.. Our green houses are: •
designed by our own experts with strength to suit tropical climatic conditions
designed and build with extra vent with insect proof net for better cooling by allowing hot air which is lighter to escape.
build with enough space for the crop development and air circulation.
Our standardized and patented design is in modules which can be adjusted to clients needs without compromising the standards To place an order, call Green Hortgardens Kenya Limited Tel: 020-2693431/2 or 0712– 312963, 0733– 718015 Email: greenhortgardenskenyaltd @gmail.com
Volume 1, Issue 1
MCU Newsletter - January 2013