Construction plans for the Kshs 15 billion Kisumu Brewery whose ground-breaking was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta in August are progressing on schedule with production set to commence next year.
Speaking during a status update on the project, Kenya Breweries Limited Managing Director Jane Karuku said the new plant will provide an expanded market opportunity mainly for sorghum farmers in Nyanza. The plant, she said will be heavily reliant on sorghum among other raw materials sourced from locals.
During current development phase, Kisumu County has enjoyed construction material and labour force supply benefits as part of the company's local sourcing commitments. To spur the local economy, the construction material and majority of the labour force at the construction site are exclusively sourced from Kisumu County.
"We have made a lot of progress at the new brewery site since July and we are delighted at the progress. We look forward to completing the construction works on schedule," said Ms. Karuku.
In July, President Kenyatta and Diageo Global Chief Executive Ivan Menezes commissioned the development of an ultra-modern brewery in Kisumu.
The brewery plant is the single largest such project in Nyanza region and Kenya in decades, and is set to be an engine of economic development and catalyst for the lakeside city and the neighboring counties upon completion.
Speaking during a stakeholder session, Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong'o hailed the project and reaffirmed the county's support for the project sighting the socio-economic impact of the project to the county.
"The County of Kisumu supports this project and we look forward to enjoying its economic impact and the ripple effect of the brewery plant to the various sectors such as, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and transportation thereby positively transforming livelihood of our people," Prof. Anyang Nyong'o noted.
The plant will initially produce Senator Keg made using locally-sourced sorghum and KBL targets to recruit over 15,000 sorghum farmers with guaranteed market for the crop. This will lift demand for sorghum and in turn support small-scale farmers. The Kisumu plant will also provide greater production capacity to meet the anticipated demand for affordable and healthy beverage which would effectively compete, and with time eliminate, illicit brews.
More jobs will be created when the brewery construction is completed and operations begin. The plant is projected to be completed by Q1 2019, and approximately 100,000 direct and indirect jobs will result from this plant.