Boost for sorghum farmers in Murang’a County

Thousands of sorghum farmers in Murang’a are poised to reap the benefits of a new partnership between the county government and Kenya Breweries Ltd (KBL).

This strategic collaboration aims to bolster sorghum farming while providing a new market avenue for local producers.

Beer manufacturer Kenya Breweries Ltd, will be spearheading this partnership to support and promote sorghum farming in the region. The company has already established a robust sorghum and barley value chain, extending its reach across various counties including Kisumu, Migori, Siaya, Homa Bay, Busia, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Narok, and Nakuru.

With an annual demand of about 40,000 tonnes of sorghum, a rise in the production of sorghum-based beer presents an opportunity for farmers across Kenya to benefit manufacturers and distributors of inputs, processors, and retailers through the aggregation of service delivery points.

Support to sorghum farmers

As part of this initiative, KBL is set to provide critical support to sorghum farmers. The assistance package includes offering affordable loans, field extension services, and forging connections with seed companies, fertilizer suppliers, and research institutes.

The collaboration is not only expected to bolster the local farming community but also foster sustainable agricultural practices.

Mark Ocitti, the Managing Director of KBL, termed the partnership a “dream come true” for both entities. He emphasized the mutual commitment to establishing a dependable supply chain for vital raw materials while raising the stature of local farmers.

Murang’a County Governor, Irungu Kang’ata, underscored the significance of the collaboration, stating that this partnership would be leveraged to advocate for safe alcohol consumption among the youth, contributing to the broader health and well-being of the community.

KBL said such initiatives have already enabled the support of over 80,000 businesses and the employment of more than 200,000 people throughout the value chain. This network encompasses retailers, farmers, distributors, and agents, making up nearly 2 percent of Kenya’s total employment.

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Sorghum demand 40,000 tonnes pa

The partnership comes at a time when the demand for sorghum, a key raw material for various products including beer, continues to rise. With an annual requirement of approximately 40,000 tonnes of sorghum, the increased production of sorghum-based beverages presents an enticing opportunity for farmers nationwide. Beyond their direct involvement, this surge in demand also extends benefits to manufacturers, input suppliers, processors, and retailers, enhancing service delivery points and livelihoods across the sector.

In conclusion, the collaboration between Murang’a County and Kenya Breweries Ltd marks a pivotal step forward for sorghum farmers in the region. This alliance not only empowers local producers but also signifies a concerted effort towards sustainable growth, responsible consumption, and broader economic development. As the partnership takes root, it holds the potential to reshape the agricultural landscape while ensuring a steady and reliable supply of raw materials for Kenya’s dynamic brewing industry.

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