Nigerian Breweries to Empower More Local Sorghum Farmers
By Dipo Olowookere
Leading brewery firm in Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries Plc, has revealed that it plans to empower more sorghum farmers in the country by patronising them.
Addressing newsmen recently in Oyo State, the company said it was working hard to increase sourcing of sorghum locally to 60 percent by 2020 from its present 57 percent.
Corporate Communications and Brand Public Relations Manager of the firm, Mr Patrick Olowookere, noted that with this plan, farmers in the country will earn more income, which will consequently boost the economy in general.
Mr Olowookere, who took journalists on a facility tour in Ado Awaiye in Iseyin area of Oyo State, stated that Nigerian Breweries was always looking at ways to partner with local farmers and processors to develop agricultural value chains that would strengthen the economy and save foreign exchange.
“Over 250,000 sorghum farmers have benefited in the northern agronomical zones as at 2013, producing over the 100,000 tonnes the company needs annually.
“That is enough to meet our production for our growing customers. We want to try as much as we can to further reduce the volume of imported raw materials.
“But by 2020, Nigerian Breweries would have finalised plans to increase its sourcing of raw materials from 57 to 60 per cent, the margin is small but apt,” he said.
In addition, he said, “Psaltry International Company Ltd., a food grade starch producing firm and others in sorghum is what gives us the assurance of quality products to suit the needs of our consumers.”
He noted that Psaltry Company was the only partner producing food grade starch for Nigerian Breweries.
Mr Olowookere said the firm uses CSRO 1 and 2 species of sorghum because it had a higher yield of two tonnes per hectare and had certifications from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.