KENYA – The Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), the maker of Tusker Beer and Senator Keg, has expanded its Sorghum sourcing program to Murang’a county as part of its community empowerment efforts
KBL has committed to providing farmers with fordable credit facilities, field extension services, and linkage to seed companies to enable them to engage in sorghum farming.
The brewer has also pledged to link farmers to fertilizer providers as well as research institutes in a move poised to place them in a more competitive position.
KBL managing director Mark Ocitti lauded the development saying it would go a long way in empowering farmers in the county to be an integral part of the alcohol manufacturing value chain.
“This deal sets the stage for the two entities to work closely in their efforts to create a sustainable pipeline for the much-needed raw material as well as elevate the status of the farmers who will benefit economically from the sale of sorghum to KBL,” noted Ocitti.
Murang’a county governor Irungu Kang’ata said the deal will place farmers in the front-row seat of economic transformation.
“We feel honored to support KBL’s long-term endeavors to establish a reliable pipeline source of raw materials with Murang’a emerging as one of the key areas of focus,” said Dr Kang’ata.
Murang’a Senator Joe Nyutu echoed his governor’s sentiments terming the deal a gateway to growth opportunities that will deliver a sustainable future to farmers in the area.
“The partnership exemplifies the power of collaboration, as together we will cultivate not only sorghum but also opportunities, sustainability, and a brighter future for our region,” stated Mr Nyutu.
KBL’s sorghum and barley value chain includes over 47,000 farmers who have been contracted to grow the raw materials in Kisumu, Migori, Siaya, Homa Bay, Busia, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Narok, and Nakuru Counties.
The subsidiary of East African Breweries says that similar interventions have seen it support over 80,000 businesses and employ over 200,000 people across the value chain, accounting for almost two percent of the total employment in the country.
In its 2022 annual report, the company -which also produces popular Balozi and Whitecap Premium Lager beers -indicates that it paid out a total of Sh2.6 billion (US$18.01 million) to contracted farmers.