KENYA – Kenya Breweries has partnered with farmers to enhance improved sorghum yields as a long-term sustainability programme of its upcoming plant in Kisumu, reports Business Daily.
According to the beer making company, the upcoming plant has a capacity of producing up to 100 million litters of Keg beer.
The sustainability programme comes after farmers in the western region of the country made a total delivery of 6,000 tonnes out of the expected 15,000 tonnes of grains in the first two seasons.
According to the company’s Head of Sustainability and Engagement, Jean Kiarie, the initiative is part of efforts to keep the pledge of locally sourcing of sorghum as the main raw material in the production of the firm’s flagship low-end beer.
Kenya Breweries limited also seeks to commercialize the crop by raising the productivity from the current 400kg per acre to 1.5 tonnes in the next season.
“Mechanization of land preparation, proper use of recommended fertilizers, and good management and extension services in the coming season would greatly improve yields and attract prospective farmers,” she said.
However,she noted that being the first time in the field, the crop had done fairly well in the past season.
“The harvest was a great achievement given that it was the first time many of the farmers were trying the white sorghum and were a bit skeptical on what to expect,” she said.
Currently, sorghum farming in the western region is done under 1200 acres.
The initiative seeks to increase the acreage of farming to a potential 5,000 acres within the same region in order to meet the plants processing capacity.
Ms Kiarie said that the KBL is focusing on land consolidation as strategy of increasing convenience of extension services and crop management.
The company has promised fast-maturing seeds, free extension services, and steady farm and factory gate prices to attract farmers and supplies of white sorghum.
Since the adoption of sorghum as a raw material by Kenya Breweries Limited, the crop production has increased significantly even in neighbouring countries as they seek to supply their produce to the ready market.