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KBL plans to train 60,000 farmers to cope with climate change

Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) plans to train at least 60,000 farmers on sound agricultural skills to fortify the economic and environmental resilience to enable them wade through the ravages of climate change.

The company intends to equip small scale farmers with the means to successfully build a profitable enterprise while ensuring the quality product enters their supply chain.

This was made known when KBL hosted an Agricultural Forum at Serena Hotel in Nairobi which aimed at fostering meaningful discussions on regenerative agriculture and climate change.

Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mithika Linturi stated that there was need for concerted efforts by all players to optimize the opportunities in the agricultural sector.

“As a ministry, our mandate is to create an enabling environment for agricultural development, enhance national food security, and improve market access and trade. We recognize and appreciate the efforts of the private sector led by companies such as East African Breweries Limited (EABL) in providing a source of livelihood to thousands of farmers in Kenya. We are open for more partnerships and progressive engagements to ensure that we secure the future of our food,” Linturi reiterated.

In a speech read on his behalf by Principal Secretary State Department for Crops Development Kello Harsama, the CS noted that climate change has shifted the balance of Africa and the World at large.

According to Linturi, although the world suffers, Africa remains the most disadvantaged especially the small scale farmers who lacked access to ready markets, credit, reliable extension services and knowledge on mechanization.

Also speaking at the event, EABL Group Corporate Relations Director Eric Kiniti said that about 75 per cent of Kenyans who rely on Agriculture suffer as a result of climate-related challenges which have declined agricultural yields in the country.

“Agriculture is the engine of economic growth in Kenya, where Kenyans earn all or part of their income from this sector. However, climate-related challenges such as droughts, environmental degradation and water scarcity have continually declined agricultural yields in the country,” expressed Kiniti.

He added that the company is supporting farmers to mitigate and adapt to the challenges resulting from climate change and that the company is committed to sourcing its raw materials from local farmers.

“Our local sourcing programme is a crucial business priority that enables us to grow value together with the farmers in Kenya. We urge more farmers to join us and assure them of a steady market and good prices for their produce,” added Kiniti.

He pledged that the Company would strive to employ climate-smart agriculture among its farmers and has gone a step further to invest in innovation and research to ensure the provision of improved varieties that are drought-resistant and with higher and better-quality yields.

“As stakeholders in this sector, we must reciprocate this willingness by offering farmers the necessary support,” he urged.

By Enrica Amisi and Peace Muthoka

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