Amica Saving and Credit Cooperative Society is targeting to attain an asset capital base of Sh10 billion within a period of three years, Sacco Chief Executive Officer James Mbui shares with Sacco Times Magazine in a question (Q) and answer (A) interview, during the commissioning of a refurbished office at Kandara shopping Centre in Murang’a County.
Q. Thanks you for this opportunity and to begin, what can you tell Sacco Times readers about Amica Sacco?
Amica Sacco, I can say, is a trusted friend. Beyond just providing financial advice, it is
ensuring members financial wellbeing. We care about our members and want to understand
where they are in life and how we can act as a stepping stone to get them to where they want to be. Our financial advisors build relationships with members to identity life goals, ambitions,
financial needs and risks and/or obstacles to success.
Q. Who are your members?
Amica Sacco members are largely farmers. Five decades ago, a few farmers with a common vision of having a financially empowered and poverty free community met and resorted to mobilize savings and subsequently provide affordable credit facilities to members (the birth of Amica Sacco). Recently, the society opened its doors to incorporate SMEs.
Q. After five decades, what is your current asset capital base?
The society’s current asset capital base stands at Kshs.3.5 billion, and we are targeting to attain an asset capital base of Sh10 billion within a period of three years.
Q. What about deposits?
Despite economic hardships in 2019 (reduction of income from tea and coffee to about 50
percent), the institution was able to get deposits of more than Kshs.500 million. We have
witnessed growth of deposits from our esteemed customers.
Q. So, the target of asset base worth Ksh 10 billion in three years is nothing to worry about?
Well for a long time, Amica has been relying on coffee and tea farmers but as I mentioned
earlier, the Sacco recently, opened its doors to incorporate SMEs. We seek to incorporate small
and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow this capital base. We are working on various products
which will be of great benefit to SMEs.
Q. Talking of SMEs, describe the nature of incorporation?
Amica will start providing financing to small scale entrepreneurs to buy property with the aim
of growing its asset capital base. We are targeting to finance those in the Bodaboda industry,
individuals who want to buy land and motor vehicles among other types of properties at minimal interest rates.
Q. Who else do you target?
The Sacco will also bring on board avocado and macadamia farmers after the crops proved to
be doing well in the market. We started with coffee and tea farmers but now we are bringing in
dairy, macadamia and avocado farmers. The Sacco will be able to finance the farmers in order to boost their production.
Q. In terms of Service delivery, how far are you?
The Sacco is also investing heavily in digital platforms so as to ease processes of transacting
business. With mobile banking, our customers can access various services through their phones
without necessarily visiting our branches. Currently the Sacco has 17 branches, 15 of them being in Murang’a County. The management is hoping to open new branches in other counties.
Q. What is your parting short to readers?
I wish to laud the contributions of cooperative societies to the economic growth of the county.
Cooperative societies are very important for the wholesome growth of the people as well as the economy of the county and country at large if they are well managed.
Both levels of governments should address challenges facing farmers. This year, coffee and tea farmers have incurred huge losses due to fluctuation of prices. Therefore, proper strategies need to be established to cushion farmers from incurring losses occasioned by poor prices of their produce.