Kenya Breweries Ltd (KBL) has launched a mobile platform to accurately track sorghum grown by the 30,000 farmers that it has contracted.
Managing Director Jane Karuku said the mobile phone solution dubbed Farmforce, would be used to track out-growers, eliminate paperwork and enable the brewer to be appraised of the growing and harvesting of the raw materials in real time.
She said the app will help in tracking of sorghum through all production stages: planting, tending to the crops, harvesting and delivery to its Kisumu plant.
“Through this technology, we will be able to track the grain to glass journey. It will also enable us to scientifically track the sorghum grown by our contracted farmers and ensure that we are only receiving grain from those on our records,” said Karuku.
Farmforce, a mobile-based cloud solution developed by Syngenta Foundation has been created to help smallholders gain access to formal markets and improve the effectiveness of outgrower schemes. It is considered to be a game changer by using mobile technology to make traceability and compliance an integral part of smallholder production and to redefine the relationship between growers, manufacturers and markets.
Karuku said all KBL field extension staff have been issued with mobile phones with the solution for field data collection. Kenya Breweries is working with 15,000 farmers from Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya and Busia counties, who will supply the Kisumu’s Sh15 billion brewery plant with white sorghum for production of Senator Keg beer.