• MP Mary Maingi, who graced the event, lauded Kenya Breweries for supporting farmers.
• The partnership, which was inked three months ago, saw 5,000 farmers signed up for the programme.
Mwea residents have ventured into sorghum farming owing to inconsistent rain patterns.
They say unlike many seasonal crops and grains which consume plenty of water, sorghum ‘which is now their new found gold’ can withstand drought. They said climate change has led to insufficient rainfall.
The crop, they say, takes three month to mature.
Jecinta Njeri, a sorghum farmer in South Ngariama, says she does not regret turning to sorghum farming.
Njeri, who also grows tomatoes, said sorghum is not labour intensive, making it cost effective. She also said tomatoes require plenty of water and farm inputs.
“Farming tomatoes in South Ngariama is very costly since the place receives minimal rain as compared to other parts of the county. With sorghum, the narrative is different. It grows and matures to term with little water and its growth is also not affected by inconsistency in rain patterns,” she added.
Farmer Grace Wanja said sorghum farming is an underrated venture.
She urged farmers to plant certified seeds for better yields and more money.
She said they grow the crop under a community group called ‘Ukweli Red Soil Group’ and were supplied with certified seeds by the Kenya Breweries three months ago.
“For farmers to realise the full benefits of their venture, they ought to start thinking outside the box and start embracing crop diversification," Wanja said.
She said in the wake of the unfavourable climate change, maize and beans alone cannot bring farmers much profit. "You need to start growing crops like sorghum which are less cumbersome to farm and which will put money into your pockets,” Wanja told farmers.
James Njeru urged fellow farmers to venture into crops that will generate good income within a short period of time.
“We are living in an era where one needs to have an extra source of income to supplement the money from your main venture. In the case of farming, sorghum is a better option because it will not stop you from cultivating other crops. Besides, it takes a short time to mature thus earning you an extra coin within a short time,” he added.
Njeru said his latest sale earned him Sh8,000.
The farmers spoke on Friday in Mwea during the flagging off of 120,000 kilos of sorghum to Kenya breweries. Fifteen sorghum farmers pocketed over Sh570,000 from the sale of the produce.
MP Mary Maingi, who graced the event, lauded Kenya Breweries for supporting farmers.
She said farmers from semi-arid areas of Mwea should grow sorghum to enable them to sustain their families.
She said in the just-concluded harvest, farmers harvested up to 20 sacks from an acre of land.
The legislator said the partnership with the brewer is a major boost to farmers.
The partnership, which was inked three months ago, saw 5,000 farmers signed up for the programme.
“I can confidently assure Mwea farmers that this is just the beginning of a long-term partnership with Kenya Breweries. In the upcoming September season, I’m optimistic that more farmers’ produce will be bought,” she said
In addition, she said, the sorghum’s by-products will come in handy for the production of animal feeds thus generating another source of income for residents.
Assistant county commissioner Josphat Onchari lauded the project, saying it will go along way in spurring economic growth and enhancing food security.