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Kenya Breweries seeks to boost sorghum yields

Beer maker Kenya Breweries says it is now focused on working with farmers to enhance their crop yields as a long-term programme to sustain operations of the upcoming Kisumu plant. The firm says it can produce one million hectoliters (100 million litres) of Senator Keg.This comes after western Kenya farmers delivered a paltry 6,000 tonnes harvest out of the expected output of 15,000 tonnes of grains in the first two seasons. KBL Head of Sustainability and Engagement Jean Kiarie reiterated that the initiative is part of efforts to keep the pledge to locally source the grain used as the main raw material in the production of the firm’s flagship low-end beer. The brewer seeks to commercialise the sorghum crop by raising productivity per acre from 400kg to a potential of 1.5 tonnes from next planting season starting in January ahead of their official launch.“Mechanisation of land preparation, proper use of recommended fertilisers, good management and extension services in the coming season would greatly improve yields and attract prospective farmers,” she said.Ms Kiarie also pointed out that they are keen to expand the acreage of farming from the previous 1,200 acres to a potential 5,000 acres mapped for cultivation in Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya and Busia counties. She said they are seeking the amalgamation of neighbouring farms to form large plantations which would then lower effects of grain- eating birds and make extension services more convenient.“The harvest was a great achievement given that it was the first time many of the farmers were trying the white sorghum and were a bit sceptical on what to expect,” she said.

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