Top Stories / National
Wednesday, 28 Jun 2017 13:47 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
President Uhuru Kenyatta today announced that East African Breweries Limited (EABL) is putting up a Sh15 billion modern state-of-the art brewery in Kisumu that will see at least 110,000 employed. EABL said the investment is in line with efforts against illicit brews and key to the company and farmers.
The president at the same time hailed EABL for introducing Senator Keg which he said is a safe, affordable beer that has helped the government fight the menace of illicit brews.
"This year, Treasury has done its part by introducing an 80 per cent remission for beers made from sorghum, millet and cassava. Quality brews such as Senator Keg will remain affordable for wananchi and the makers and sellers of illicit brews will find life ever harder," said the President at State House during a meeting with Group CEO, Diageo Global, a multinational corporation which EABL is a subsidiary.
President Kenyatta said Kenya Breweries Limited (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.
“Farmers in these regions have proved keen growers of sorghum and millet; and they have collectively earned about Sh2.2 billion a year from supplying beer-making raw materials; a sum that will rise if they take the full advantage of the opportunity offered by KBL.
He encourage more farmers in the Nyanza region to become part of KBL’s growth story, to benefit from this plant and the opportunity it offers. This, he added will lead to an increase in sorghum demand, which in turn will support small-scale farmers and utilization of the irrigation schemes in Arid and Semi-Arid regions.
"Our strategy remains very clear in creating jobs for the younger generation. As we look ahead to the next face of delivery through industrialisation, Kisumu will receive record breaking investment of Sh15 billion from EABL to establish a model state brewery that will see 110,000 employed".
President Kenyatta said according to projections, this plant alone will lead to increased utilization of sorghum from the current 20,000 metric tonnes to around 40,000 in the next five years. Increased demand for sorghum will see the number of contracted farmers grow from 30,000 to around 45,000. As a result, gross additional farmer earnings are expected to reach over Sh6 billion annually over the next decade, he noted.
President Kenyatta stated that one of his administration's main aims is to empower both the public and private sectors. "We all want prosperity to be shared by all Kenyans but this is not a day's work. It takes time and we must carry on with the good work," he said.
President Uhuru noted that for the last four years, more than 150 companies have invested in the country, 20 of which have established their headquarters within Nairobi.
He said EABL, Bidco, GIZ , Ceramics and Keroiche have played a key role in creating jobs for the youth. The President added the companies have promised to pump more money into development that will see even more youths employed.
He said Eldoret town has been identified as an economic zone and that foreign investors already pumped more than Sh220 billion into various development projects.
"As we shift from subsistence agriculture to agribusiness in a new trans-formative way, I encourage more farmers in this region to become part of KBL’s growth story, to benefit from this plant and the opportunity it offers," he said.
"This will lead to an increase in the demand for sorghum, which will in turn support small-scale farmers and ensure utilisation of irrigation schemes in arid and semi-arid regions."
The President also outlined the Jubilee policy strategy of investing in ports, rail and power which he noted have substantially eased the conduct of business in Kenya. He said four years since 2013, over 1500 companies have invested in Kenya; more than twenty of them chose Kenya as their Africa headquarters.
He said Kajiado hosts the first ceramic tile manufacturing company in Kenya: Twyford Ceramics, Wrigley’s Sh6 billion Plant in Machakos that is near completion while Bidco is setting up a Sh5 billion factory in Thika. Keroche Breweries recently opened a Sh5 billion Plant in Naivasha; and Eldoret is now home to Kenya’s first-ever private Special Economic Zone, with over Sh200 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and over 100,000 jobs to follow. Let me also mention that Sultan Hamud has the largest can manufacturer in Africa, GZI, investing over Sh12 billion; and the leather city under construction in Machakos will employ 50,000 Kenyans once complete.