East African Malting (EAML), a subsidiary of EABL, has recruited 12,000 farmers from Kitui, Tharaka Nithi and Embu with plans to scale up production of sorghum to 30,000 tons a year.
“The demand for low end beer brand Senator Keg has risen by 113 percent of the last one year necessitating the need to contract more farmers.” East Africa Malting General Manager Lawrence Maina said.
Kitui farmers have thus been urged to grow more of the crop to provide enough raw material to the brewer a move that has seen EABL increase its outreach for sorghum and millet to provide the key ingredient for the beer.
Mr Maina said contracted farmers will sign forward contracts with the company ensuring they are supplied with seeds and other farm inputs, selling 60 to 70 percent of the harvest to EABL.
The initiative is said to be of mutual benefit that reinforces EABL’s sustainability strategy, deepening socio-economic benefits to the rural population.
This follows a law enacted by the Kitui County Assembly last year known as ‘Sorghum Act, 2014,’ which provides for the growth, development and regulation of the sorghum industry.
Since the East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) started making sorghum beer, it has created a market particularly for smallscale farmers. Sorghum is now the crop of choice for farmers in the Kitui.
Some of other crops that have been proven to be climate-resilient and important for food security include cassava, sweet potatoes and finger millet, among others.
Source; Citizen Digital