Kenya: Nynza farmers expected to earn millions from sorghum grains following high demand of the crops by East African Breweries Limited

Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

RESIDENTS of Siaya county and other counties inside Luo-Nyanza which usually experiencing less rainfall, but has fertile arable land are expected to rake in millions of shillings following the launching of sorghum project in Siaya County.

The sorghum growing project has started in Siaya County and will involve the initial number of 500 farmers. In the project in Siaya proves to be successful, it will be extended to other parts of Nyanza region which are experiencing less annual rainfalls, and which are suitable for sorghum crops.

The crops require only two month of rains, especially during the long rain and unlike the maize that needs the continuation of the rains for four months before yielding. Sorghum used to be the staple food members of the Luo community for many years until around 1940s and 1950s following the introduction of maize seedling in the region by the British colonial authorities in Kenya.

And owing to its red and black color, sorghum became neglected and almost disappeared as most peasants went full blast for maize growing.

Regions an areas where it is making good yield include Karachuonyo, Rangwe, Mbita, Gwassi, Nyatike,Lower Nyakach, Uyoma and Asembo in Rarieda, Alego-Usonga, Seme, Kisumo, Kano Plains and Bondo. The crops is doing ell in higher lands in area like Migori, Uriri, Kuria, Kasipul, Kabondo, Rongo and Awendo, but has been neglected for years in preference to maize.

The new sorghum project is taking off this time around at the backdrop of the recent announcement the East African Breweries Limited ,the largest manufacturers of beer that it was considering the possibility of abandoning the growing of barley and replace it with sorghum for brewing its beer.

The Kisumu based Molasses Plant which is producing alcohol and ethanol from molasses a by-product of the sugar cane has also hinted that it might consider the sorghum a s its raw material instead of molasses or revert to the use of both .

The EABL communication officer Joseph Sunday has been quoted in a section of the press as saying that the sorghum project has been taken into consideration following high demand for the grain that is out of step with supply.

The new project is piloted by the EABL in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture and the European Cooperation for Rural Development {EUCORP}.The project aims at creating a sustainable value chain for the grain I East Africa.

“It is part of a wider scheme to recruit more farmers in Siaya County into growing white sorghum as cash crop to boost raw material supply for industries reliant on the grain.

EABL will provide registered farmers with certified seeds and organize farms field day to instruct them on good farm practices.

Upon investing, the company will provide ready market for produce at better price than those in the market.” The farmers will benefit from 30 per cent price increase that will see them earn Kshs 30/- per kilogram of sorghum delivered up fro last year’s Kshs 23/- per kg.

This was disclosed by the Company’s Sorghum Project Manager Sylvester Ndeda, who added by saying that firm’s demand for sorghum is high.

The manager further disclosed that they were targeting the long rain season when the grain crop will be planted by at least 500 farmers.

The inaugural field was held last week where the farmers were advised to form groups of cooperatives to enable them bargain better for higher price of their produce, enjoy discounts on farm equipment and access bank loans.

The project will go along way in uplifting the lives of Siaya residents by offering a reliable income from their farming business.

It is hoped that the EABL will extend its project to cover areas where sorghum is grown in abundance such as Uyoma in Rarieda where the crops is known to be doing well with excellent yield in the black cotton soil and also in Kadel are of West Karachuonyo, Lambwe Valley, Kdem and Karungu in Nyatike, Gwassi and Mbita.


6 thoughts on “Kenya: Nynza farmers expected to earn millions from sorghum grains following high demand of the crops by East African Breweries Limited

  1. Omondi Jaseme

    These are the developments needed to improve the region’s economy and livelihoods. Nyanza boast god siols and human resource dedicate to agriculture only that even investors from the region have never seen this as an opportunity worthy investing in. The region very much needs industries to process local produce to create job opportunities and encourage and develop agriculture as an economic opportunity to locals.

  2. odhiambo maurice

    omera temane mondo u give more information about this sorghum thing coz i am planning to put around 300 acr come mid season


    I come from Homa-bay county and i think this is a noble idea which should be embraced in all counties in nyanza , my area is fertile(Ndhiwa Division ) and the problem is market to sell our produce. Everyone now is doing sugarcane farming but still this can be done. please provide me with information on what i can do to get the seeds and be listed .

  4. Joseph Alolo

    I have been told about this project, I have plans of utilising long rains in this project, How do one get listed?. and does it mean that if you dont get listed you cant participate?.

  5. dennis otieno

    I think it would be wise to be sure of the market rather than end up producing for own consumption whereby alot of surplus will be of no value to farmers and they will end up selling at below market price.

  6. Kennedy Ojwang'

    kindly update on this project so that many farmers in other areas like dhiwa constituency to benefit.

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