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Kenya Breweries upscale locally sourced sorghum, barley on growing demand

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By Seth Emanuel

The easing of Covid-19 restrictions such as the reopening of on-trade outlets (bars, pubs and restaurants) by the government has paved way for the revision of Kenya Breweries Limited’s grain demand.

The company has reaffirmed its commitment to locally sourced sorghum and barley, the raw materials for brewing, by revising its grain demand upwards to 20,000 tonnes sorghum and 20,000 tonnes barley, which is almost double the volumes projected in August during the lockdown.

Through East African Maltings Limited (EAML), KBL’s Contract Farming Program has thousands of farmers across the country. The company is reminding the registered farmers to plant and new ones to express interest to join the contract farming programme that will assure them of a market and pre-agreed prices for their produce.

 “During the lock down due to Covid-19, the economic restrictions depressed our sales and in turn caused us to reduce our grain demand. However, we took various steps to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic to our farmers. W

e honored all the contracts for the financial year 2019/2020, purchasing approx. 45,000 tons of barley and 32,000 tons of sorghum and paid all the farmers. We also promised to review our grain demand upwards once trade was reopened warranting a greater supply from farmers as the demand for our beer grows”, said Eric Kiniti, EABL Group Corporate Relations Director.

 “Our local sourcing programme is a crucial business priority for us because it enables us to grow value together with the farmers in Kenya. We are currently working with over 47,000 farmers across Kenya who earned over KES. 2 Billion last year”, he added.

To champion for diversity and inclusion, we are also encouraging Persons With Disabilities to not shy away from joining the programme. In March 2020, we kicked off a project for inclusion of famers with disabilities in Homabay County, western Kenya in partnership with Sightsavers. We attracted 39 farmers with disabilities with a total of 76.5 acres planting white sorghum for use in the production of Senator Keg beer.

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