- The Homa Bay Women Caucus Savings and Credit Cooperative Society will be used by the CBOs to save their surplus income generated from the various economic activities they are engaged in.
- The SACCO targets 80,000 women from across the eight Constituencies of Homa Bay.
Women-led community-based organisations ( CBOs), drawn from the eight sub-counties in Homa Bay County have registered a savings and credit cooperative society to enhance their earnings and financial operations.
The Homa Bay Women Caucus Savings and Credit Cooperative Society will be used by the CBOs to save their surplus income generated from the various economic activities they are engaged in.
The SACCO targets 80,000 women from across the eight Constituencies of Homa Bay.
Members of the CBOs are engaged in various cash crops, which include soya farming, cotton growing, maize, beans, sorghum, millet, cassava, pineapple, and bananas, while others are fish traders.
According to the group's county caucus mobilizer Jane Oriya, the farmers have been facing both financial and marketing challenges among others which they now hope will be addressed through the umbrella SACCO.
The Women-centred economic empowerment program under the patronage of the interior PS, Dr Raymond Omollo is partnering with 19 other private investors who will avail funds to facilitate various economic value chains in the region.
According to Oriya, in the pipeline is a plan by the caucus to establish a pineapple value-addition project in Olare.
Speaking during a training workshop for the leadership of the eight CBOs in Homa Bay on Thursday, Oriya noted that the project aims to capitalize on the abundant pineapple and other cash crops production in the region.
"It will be used to create value-added products to increase income and employment opportunities for the local community," she said.
The capacity-building training for the CBO leaders was facilitated by the women's enterprise fund.
According to Oriya, the processing facility for the pineapple value addition will include activities such as juice production, dried pineapple production, and pineapple jam/jelly production.
"The facility will be equipped with the necessary machinery and equipment for processing, packaging, and storage," she said
We will Analyze the local and regional demand for pineapple products, including juice, dried pineapple, and pineapple jam/jelly," she said.
They will also Identify potential customers, such as supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, and local markets.
She noted that the aim is to Produce and package high-quality pineapple juice in various sizes.
"The plant, whose establishment will be financed through the support of the investors who have been identified with help from the Interior PS, will process and package dried pineapple slices as a healthy snack," she said.
It will also Produce and package pineapple jam/jelly for retail and wholesale distribution.
The facility, she added, will procure fresh pineapples from local farmers or establish contracts with pineapple farmers in the region.
The investors will also support the establishment of a Fish Value Addition in Mbita.
The fish processing plant will help to add value to locally caught fish, increase their shelf life, and create profitable business opportunities for the community.
"The CBO will establish a fish processing and packaging unit that will focus on value-added fish products such as smoked fish, fish fillets, and fish snacks," Oriya said.
Potential customers, such as local markets, restaurants, hotels, and fish distributors will be identified to address market challenges.
"The women, through the CBOs that will own the plant, will Process the fish using modern methods to enhance flavour and increase shelf life," she noted.
"They will also prepare and package fish fillets suitable for cooking or further processing," she said.
The fish processing plant will also develop and package fish-based snacks, such as fish crisps or fish jerky, for retail sale.
The plant will source fish directly from local fishermen or establish partnerships with fish cooperatives.
It wil help to Create employment opportunities for women and youth through fish processing and packaging activities.
This will also improve the income of local fishermen by providing value additional services and access to higher-value markets and Promoting sustainable fishing practices and environmental conservation.
In addition to the pineapple and fish processing factory, the women, through their umbrella bodies will embark on sunflower farming.
A Sunflower Pressing factory will also be put up in Suba South, Homa Bay County.
The project according to the caucus county mobilizer is aiming to promote sunflower cultivation, processing, and value addition to create income-generating opportunities for the local community.
She revealed that a CBO based in Suba will engage in sunflower farming and establish a pressing unit for oil extraction.
"The project will involve cultivating sunflower crops, harvesting the seeds, processing them into high-quality sunflower oil, and packaging the oil for sale to the local market," she said
Through private partnerships, the CBO will Procure high-quality sunflower seeds for cultivation, either through local farmers or certified seed suppliers.
A distribution network to reach target customers efficiently will be developed.
"All these initiatives are targeting to Create employment opportunities, particularly for women and youth, through farming and oil processing activities," she said.
She said that the PS who comes from Homa Bay county is keen to see women empowered and their incomes enhanced.
"He wishes to see the income of the local farmers who are mainly women are enhanced by providing a reliable market for their produce. That's why he's looking for investors who can help support such initiatives," she said.
She observed that the programmes will also promote sustainable agricultural practices and environmental conservation.
The programme will also set up a Water Bottling Plant in Suba South to help the residents meet the demand for safe drinking water in the region while creating employment opportunities and generating income for the community.
The water bottling plant will purify and bottle drinking water for sale to the local market.
"The plant will utilize modern water treatment technology to ensure high-quality and safe drinking water," she said.
Although launched in Homa Bay county, these projects will be rolled out to the rest of the Nyanza region according to Oriya who said the investors are willing to enroll more counties in the region.