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Friday, March 13, 2015

Will cultivation of Beer benefit African Farmers?

Ever since Ephraim Opusi, a farmer in Uganda had strugles to meet up with responsibilities cultivating corn on his five-acre plot in the hilly Kumi district in eastern Uganda.But now that he cultivates white sorghum, a grain used in beer brewing, Mr Opusi has managed to provide for his six children.NaijaAgroNet has report.

Ephraim Opusi started growing sorghum that earned him $750 during his first season in 2010; Mr Opusi harvested three tons of sorghum where an average Ugandan makes $510 a year, according to World Bank data.

NaijaAgroNet learnt that farmers are now growing less food, preferring to grow sorghum varieties specifically developed for brewing in order to earn them more profit from brewing giants Brewing like SABMiller and Diageo that have invested millions of dollars into African farms, providing a guaranteed market and better returns to smallholder farmers as they look for more locally sourced materials such as sorghum.

Okasai Opolot, the head of Uganda’s crop production and marketing and the agriculture ministry has said that most families are experiencing food shortage as farmers have focused on sorghum the brewing crop

"There isn’t enough land to accommodate both kinds of crops and more families are exposed to food shortages."
The question now is, will depending on alcohol going to sustain farmers in Uganda and Africa?

Chidozie Anibueze/GEE/ED
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