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Farmers, KBL partner to boost sorghum production

Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) has entered into a partnership with sorghum farmers in Kisumu county to boost the crop production ahead of commencement of its operations in the area. KBL seeks to start acquiring raw materials to support the operation of its newly refurbished plant in Kisumu.

KBL’s Head of Sustainable Agriculture Sourcing, Kasidhi Omondi said the initiative is meant to increase sorghum production in the region in preparation for the start of operations at the factory by September this year. He said the plant refurbishment is expected to cost Sh15 billion upon its completion, and is projected to require up to 12,000 tones of sorghum every year.

“We want to work closely with the farmers as we seek to ensure increased sorghum yields to effectively support the functionality of the new plant,” said Omondi. The deal would see at least 5,000 sorghum farmers benefit directly through the sale of raw materials to the brewer.

As part of the agreement, the brewer has acquired 3,500 acres of farmers land in Nyando constituency for white sorghum production. KBL will bear the cost of land tillage, planting and harvesting sorghum, and later buy the product from farmers at a cost of Sh37 per kilogramme.

Speaking during a sorghum farmers’ mobilization forum, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o lauded the initiative, saying the move aims at subsidizing the cost of agricultural productivity for the farmers. He said Nyando Holdings Limited Managing Director Clifford Ngwalla, who is the implementer of the project, said it will generate income of about Sh1million to the farmers every year.

Ngwalla said they have identified some 2,590 sorghum farmers in Kisumu county, who they will engage to boost the production of raw materials for the smooth running of the KBL plant. Nyando MP Jared Okello assured of a political goodwill to the project, saying it is endowed with economic value to the farmers and the region at large.

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