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Brewer ups barley, sorghum demand after bars reopen

By Wainaina Wambu | November 19th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

The Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) has revised its grain demand upwards in a boost to sorghum and barley farmers.

This follows the reopening of bars, pubs and restaurants after the government eased restrictions meant to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The brewer said in a statement yesterday it has revised its demand for both sorghum and barley to 20,000 tonnes, which is almost double the volumes projected in August during the lockdown. This is done through East African Maltings Ltd (EAML), KBL’s farmers’ contracting arm that has thousands of farmers across the country. East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) Group Corporate Relations Director Eric Kiniti urged registered contracted farmers to up their output and new ones to join the programme.

“During the lockdown due to Covid-19, the economic restrictions depressed our sales and, in turn, caused us to reduce our grain demand,” said Kiniti (pictured).

EABL is the holding company of KBL. Kiniti said to mitigate impacts of the pandemic to farmers, all the contracts for the financial year 2019/2020 had been honoured. The brewer bought about 45,000 tonnes of barley and 32,000 tonnes of sorghum respectively.

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“We also promised to review our grain demand upwards once the trade was reopened, warranting a greater supply from farmers as the demand for our beer grows,” he said. The brewer is currently working with over 47,000 farmers across Kenya, whom it paid over Sh2 billion last year. In March this year, the brewer kicked off a project for inclusion of farmers with disabilities in Homa Bay County in partnership with Sightsavers.

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