FARMERS GROWING SORGHUM IN WESTERN KENYA TO BENEFIT FROM RE-OPENING OF BREWERY

NAIROBI, Farmers in Kenya’s western region are set to reap dividends from the cultivation of white sorghum following the revival of a brewery of East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) in Kisumu.

EABL, through its subsidiary, East Africa Malting Limited (EAML), and in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, has started recruiting farmers in the area to grow white sorghum, with some 15, 000 farmers set to benefit from the project.

Kisumu County Agriculture Technical Support Manager Sylvester Oketch says the farmers would be divided into three groups depending on the size of their farms. He adds that such a division is necessary to safeguard the interests of the farmers and ease the procurement of sorghum from various locations.

Okech said small-scale farmers with one to ten acres would be directly linked to a firm that would collect the harvest from them at 32 shillings per kilogram and deliver it to EABL. Large-scale farmers and plantations ranging from 10 to 100 acres would enter into direct contracts with EABL and would individually deliver the produce to the firm at 38 shillings per kg.

The mapped out areas for the programme include Migori, Siaya, Kisumu and Busia, which have the most suitable climatic conditions for sorghum farming.

The farmers shall be trained on white sorghum farming and at the same time receive field extension services courtesy of EABL.

President Uhuru Kenyatta last year officially re-opened the brewery which closed shop in the 1990’s. The brewery, which is set to start operations in June this year, will increase the production capacity of the Senator Keg beer which is popular among low-income earners.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK