By Ben Leshau
Business women engaged in beadwork have been encouraged to form co-operatives and other initiatives aimed at enhancing the market price of their products.
Outgoing Tourism PS Fatma Mohamed identified Ushanga Kenya Initiative as one platform aimed at ensuring a market where products fetch better returns at the global stage.
“You will strengthen your bargaining power and enable your products fetch better prices if you join this initiative or form cooperatives,” she advised.
She said the government has spent Sh200m in the first phase of Ushanga Kenya Initiative to enable women engaged in bead making from seven pastoral counties improve on their income.
The seven Pastoral counties targeted are Narok, Samburu, Baringo, Kajiado, Marsabit, West Pokot and Turkana.
Ms Mohamed also said that state departments such as gender, cooperative and heritage are keen to boost the business.
Ushanga Initiative Chair Hellen Nkaissery revealed that they were in a process of patenting the Ushanga Initiative products.
Consequently, this would cushion the pastoral women against exploitation by unscrupulous middlemen and other brokers.
Narok Governor Samuel Tunai said the County Government will promote women in the grassroots who are talented in bead work.
“One of the key areas our County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) focuses on is empowering the residents financially,” said Tunai.
Hon Tunai, who doubles as the Chairman of Tourism in the Council of Governors Forum promised to allocate finances to improve the sub sector in the region in the next fiscal year.