Faith Ngugi Nkuru
Savings and Credit Co-operatives (SACCOs) play an increasingly important role in the process of financial intermediation in the highly competitive financial market in Kenya.It is upon this realization that Meru Farmers SACCO Society, needs to look at the factors that are affecting its growth. This initiative will go a long way in the SACCO’s Growth has the effect of bringing multiplier effects thus members are able to achieve economic empowerment and invest some of their savings in real assets or otherwise and thus vulnerability in old age is reduced Growth model, economies must save a certain proportion of their national income, if only to replace worn out or impaired capital goals. Therefore, to bridge this gap we sought to find out the factors affecting growth of SACCOs within the Agricultural sector in Kenya. The specific objectives that guided this study were: determine how the management skills of SACCOs officials affect growth of cooperative society; establish how competition from commercial banks and other financial institutions affect growth of cooperative societies; find out how the income levels of members affects the growth of cooperative societies; and, determine how technology affects growth of cooperative societies. The descriptive study design was used to state to what extent the variables indicated above have determine the growth of their cooperative society. The target population composed 2100 SACCOs members. Hence, the sample size composed of the 210 SACCOs members. The sampling method to be used was probability sampling technique where the researcher employed proportionate stratified random sampling method to select the respondents. Data was collected through administration of questionnaires designed based on the research objectives. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches was used in data analysis. Descriptive statistics used included frequencies, measures of central tendencies and dispersion and also inferential statistics that include regression and analysis of variances will be used to determine level of significant of the variables. Income levels, competition from other financial institution, management skills of SACCOs official were the most significant factors that predicted growth of SACCOs. Therefore, in order to increase SACCOs growth there is the need to put in strategies that address issues relating to sound Income levels, competition from other financial institution, management skills of SACCOs official financial base as these variables have been identified to be key the determinants influencing growth of SACCOs within the agricultural sector in Kenya.