NAIROBI, East Africa Breweries Limited, the Kenyan subsidiary of British alcoholic beverages multinational Diageo plc, is to invest some 15 billioon shillings (about 145 million US dolars) to build a new state-of-the art brewery on a 50-acre site in Kisumu, about 340 kilometres northwest of here.

Kenyan President Kenyatta made the announcement at State House Nairobi Wednesday after holding talks with Ivan Menezes, the Diageo global chief executive officer, who led the East Africa Breweries Limited team to meet the president.

President Kenyatta said the investment is in keeping with the government's agenda of creating wealth for all Kenyans by ensuring shared prosperity amongst citizens, underpinned by its agenda to empower the private sector to thrive.

He noted that recent significant investments made in Kenya included the 5.0-billion-shilling Keroche Breweries Ltd plant in Naivasha.

The president said breweries in the country had helped in the transformation of agriculture in Kenyans from subsistence to commercial farming, noting that sorghum and millet farmers in Kenya had collectively earned about 2.2 billion shillings a year from supplying raw materials for making beer.

Indeed, KBL have contracted about 30,000 smallholder farmers across the country in areas such as Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Homa Bay as well as Tharaka Nithi, Kitui and Makueni, he added.

According to projections, the new East African Breweries plant alone will lead to increased domestic utilization of sorghum from the current 20,000 tonnes to around 40,000 tonnes in the next five years.

Increased demand for sorghum will see the number of contract farmers grow from 30,000 to around 45,000. As a result, gross additional farmer earnings are expected to reach over 6.0 billion shillings annually over the next decade, said President Kenyatta.


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