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State eyes Sh8 billion from KBL keg plant

By Dalton Nyabundi | Published Mon, July 23rd 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 22nd 2018 at 22:22 GMT +3
Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri tours the Kisumu Brewery during a test-run on July 19, 2018. [Courtesy]

The Government expects to raise about Sh8 billion in taxes annually from the new Sh15 billion Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) plant in Kisumu.

Farmers contracted to supply the brewery with sorghum are also expected to pocket Sh4 billion, with their numbers projected to double from the current 15,000.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said during a tour of the plant on Thursday the State had put in place measures to ensure KBL honours an agreement; to support the farmers and adheres to local sourcing of raw material and the bulk of its manpower.

“This investment is a big boost to the Government’s Big Four agenda which includes food security and industrialisation. Other than creating a stable income for the farmers involved, sorghum farming in this region and across the country is a potential food security measure,” he said.

The brewery, whose refurbishment began with a ceremonial groundbreaking by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July last year, is complete and is currently conducting test runs, according to East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) Chairman Charles Muchene.

Safter beer

The investment promises to add 100,000 jobs in the value chain. Local assembling of sorghum threshers, which are three times as cheap as those imported from Brazil, Mr Kiunjuri said, is part of the jobs lined up for locals. Local threshers cost Sh80, 000.

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Mr Muchene, meanwhile, said the plant would start commercial operations in the next two months. EABL Chief Executive Andrew Cowan said the decision to open the new plant in Kisumu was informed by the need ensure a trickle-down arising from production of safer beer outside Nairobi.

“The Nairobi plant had stretched its capacity against soaring demand,” he said.

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