Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) and Murang’a County have signed a partnership that will see KBL support farmers growing sorghum in the area. This is part of the efforts by the alcohol manufacturer to empower communities through gainful employment as well as contribute to the shared growth of KBL.
Speaking during the official signing ceremony at the EABL headquarters, KBL Managing Director, Mark Ocitti lauded Murang’a County Governor, Dr. Irungu Kang’ata for his foresight and willingness to empower farmers in his county who are integral in the alcohol manufacturing value chain for EABL.”The actualization of this deal is a dream come true as it sets the stage for the two entities to work closely in their efforts to create a sustainable pipeline for the much-needed raw material as well as elevate the status of the farmers who will benefit economically from the sale of sorghum to KBL,” Ocitti said.
To date, KBL has built a solid sorghum and barley value chain that includes 47,000 farmers who have been contracted to grow sorghum in Kisumu, Migori, Siaya, Homa Bay, Busia, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Narok, and Nakuru Counties.
Additionally, KBL will support the farmers through the provision of affordable credit facilities, field extension services, and link them with seed companies, fertilizer providers, and research institutes, in a move that will position them to be more competitive. “We want to replicate the success we have had with the other counties to build a community of farmers who are capable of contributing fully to the economic development of the country. It is such interventions that have seen us support over 80,000 businesses and employ over 200,000 people across the value chain that include retailers, farmers, distributors, and agents accounting for almost two percent of the total employment in the country,” Ocitti added.
On his part, Murang’a County Governor, Dr. Irungu Kang’ata welcomed the move by KBL noting that the county is proud to be part of the exciting journey that seeks to place farmers on the front-row seat of economic transformation. “As a county, we feel honoured to support KBL’s long-term endeavours to establish a reliable pipeline source of raw materials with Murang’a County emerging as one of the key areas of focus. We shall use this opportunity to further advance the conversation on the need to support the consumption of safe alcohol among the youth.” With an annual demand of approximately 40,000 tonnes of sorghum, a rise in the production of sorghum-based beer presents an opportunity for farmers across the country to benefit manufacturers and distributors of inputs, processors, and retailers through the aggregation of service delivery points.