The launch of this Fund today represents a great milestone in the fulfilment of one of the most important Flagship Programmes of your Government’s Manifesto.
On behalf of the Co-operative and MSME Sectors, I take this early opportunity to express my gratitude to His Excellency President William Samoei Ruto for recognising the critical roles the two sectors play in the socio-economic development of our country by creating the Ministry of Co-operatives and MSMEs Development and entrusting me with its leadership.
For the first time in the history of our country, we have a ministry dedicated to two sectors which have over the years enjoyed a symbiotic relationship in that not only have co-operatives supported SMEs through financing and capacity building, but they are in themselves small businesses.
The creation of the Ministry of Cooperatives and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development will enable us to not only realize synergies between the two sectors but also create an enabling environment for them to thrive through the formulation and implementation of appropriate policy, legal, and institutional frameworks.
The Hustler Fund can help empower those at the bottom of the pyramid in many ways. For example, we can aggregate tomato farmers along the Molo River into Co-operatives, enable them to access funding, and connect them to Twiga Food to sell their produce.
Similarly, we can aggregate potato farmers in Nyandarua into Co-operatives as well as milk farmers in Meru and Kiambu, finance them through the Hustler fund and facilitate market linkages. We can aggregate tobacco farmers in Migori and link them up with BAT. Mango farmers from Kwale, Machakos, and Makueni to Delmonte and Kevian Kenya.
I wish to assure H.E. President William Samoei Ruto that this new ministry will play its rightful role in promoting competitive and sustainable cooperative and MSME sectors for the socio-economic transformation of our county through collaboration and cooperation with all stakeholders.
Simon K. Chelugui
Ministry of Co-operatives and MSMEs.