For a long time, Maize had taken over traditional crops like sorghum and millet. When the rains failed late 2016, maize farmers were the most affected and many of them are yet to recover. According to the Kenyan Government at least 1.3 million Kenyans were affected by drought. This and many other factors have influenced the move back to drought resistant crops.
According to research done by International Crops Research Institute for the semi-arid tropics, farmers who planted maize during the drought season are expecting lower yields as compared to those who planted drought-tolerant crops. In a one-hectare maize farm, for instance, farmers are expecting one, 90 Kg bag of maize, whereas from a one-hectare farm of sorghum, they are expecting more than eight 90 Kg bags of sorghum.
Sorghum is the fifth most important grain crop after maize, wheat, rice and barley, but this is quickly changing as demand on sorghum increases. Farmers from various parts of the country such as Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisumu and Tharaka Nithi County have ventured into sorghum farming to improve their livelihood and boost the region’s economic growth.
Barley was Kenya Breweries Limited’s raw material of choice for the longest period and had through its subsidiary the East Africa Malting Limited, build a solid supply chain over the years. This however changed in 2009 when the company decided to innovate and […]