Sorghum , once a crop neglected grown only in limited parts of the country has now emerged as a cash crop with a ready market at the Sierra Leone Brewery limited that stands to benefit our local farmers all over the country.
Faced with the rising cost of barley and rice to manufacture their products, the Sierra Leone Brewery company has selected the ‘Sorghum crop’is an alternative crop to produce Beer and other beverages that are in high demand by the public.
Last year according to report available to Awoko, the demand by Sierra Leone Brewery Company for Sorghum crop was 100 metric tons and has dramatically increased to 200 metrics tons to manufacture the various beverages for consumption. “The demand for Sorghum product at the Sierra Leone Brewery company continues to be high and therefore poses a challenge and opportunity for Sorghum farmers”Dr. John Mbonu, the General Manager of Sierra Leone Brewery Limited said.
However, the yields of the local varieties are low but the crop is reported to be very suitable for the manufacturing of Brewery products.
On how to increase Sorghum crop yield to meet the high demand of the industry is a challenge facing farmers who are understandably anxious to put more money into their pockets.It is against this background that the Rokupr Agricultural Research Centre of the Sierra Leone Agricuture Research Institute is working hard with the West Africa Sorghum Value Chain Development Project to improve on the Sorghum crop.
At the research centre scientists are said to be assidously working to improve and develop high yielding varieties. The varieties are already being tested through trial and demonstration in all parts of the country.
Besides distributing the seeds to farmers, the scientists also continue to train them on better land preparation, required seed rate at planting, crop protection practice, processing and marketing etc.