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KBL to distribute grain threshing machines to entice Nyanza farmers into sorghum farming

kamugi sorghum threshing machine

KBL Supply Chain Director Peter Kamugi (left) hands over a sorghum thresher to a farmer. Photo courtesy.

Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) is set to distribute 20 threshing machines which are used to separate grains from chaffs to first-time sorghum farmers in Nyanza and Western regions in latest efforts to increase production volumes ahead of the opening of their newly built Sh15 billion plant in Kisumu later in the month.

The brewer is targeting to recruit more youth and farmer groups in Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Busia and Migori counties to take up sorghum farming and distributing the machines is one way to entice more farmers into the crop production.

According to Supply Chain Director Peter Kamugi, the machines will ease harvesting and further reduce post-harvest losses apart from creating employment to the Kisumu brewery suppliers.

“We have had success in the one year that the farmers have been growing the crop used as raw material for the brewing of Senator Keg,” said Kamugi.

In addition, KBL will also distribute 400 grain drying sheets to first-time sorghum farmers.

Kamugi said the ‘West for West’ strategy being implemented by EABL in their local sourcing of sorghum is meant to have majority of raw materials for Kisumu Brewery sourced from the western part of the country.

“We expect to recruit more farmers in the coming months and even though the process had poised some challenges such as bad weather at the start, there is hope farmers will harvest up to 15,000 tonnes of sorghum this season.”

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Mr Kamugi said the Western and Nyanza raw sourcing plan was part of EABL’s strategy to acquire 100 per cent of raw materials from locals by 2020.

“To meet the high demand for Senator Keg, KBL aims at doubling the market for sorghum as a cash crop, from 20,000 metric tonnes to around 40,000 tonnes in the next five years,” he said.

KBL managing director Jane Karuku announced in March that the first barrel of Senator Keg will be released from the multibillion-shilling facility on July 17.

The Kisumu brewery is expected to boost the local economy through the creation of over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs – from the farmers and their employees to the businesses that provide inputs right up to the workers in the factories, retailers and the transport business.

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