Over 500 farmers in Siaya County stand to benefit from a new sorghum growing venture that will start next month.
Speaking to the Nation on phone, East African Breweries Ltd communications officer Joseph Sunday said the project has been informed by the high demand for the grain that is out of step with supply.
“The demand for raw materials is rapidly growing and industries have to move out of their comfort zone and go an extra mile to craft ways of bridging the difference,” he said.
The venture is piloted by EABL in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture and the European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD), the project aims at creating a sustainable value chain for the grain in East Africa.
It is part of a wider scheme to recruit more farmers in the county into growing white sorghum as a cash crop to boost raw material supply for industries reliant on the grain.
EABL will provide registered farmers with certified seeds and organise farmer field days to instruct them on good farm practices.
Upon harvesting, the company will provide ready market for produce at better prices than those in the market.
“The farmers will benefit from a 30 per cent price increase that will see them earn Sh30 per kilogram of sorghum delivered, up from last year’s Sh23,” said EABL sorghum project manager Sylvester Ndeda adding that the firm’s demand for sorghum is high.
Mr Ndeda said they were targeting the long-rain season when the first crop will be planted by at least 500 farmers.
In the inaugural farmer’s field day held last week, the farmers were advised to form groups and cooperatives to enable them bargain better for higher prices of their produce, enjoy discounts on farm equipment and access bank loans.
The project will go a long way in uplifting the lives of Siaya residents by offering a reliable income from their farming business.