GHANA – Guinness Ghana Breweries (GGB Plc), the local subsidiary of British drinks giant Diageo has collaborated with the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) in a groundbreaking initiative for sustainable high-quality white sorghum production in Ghana.
Dubbed “Partnership for Sustainable Sorghum Sourcing in Ghana” (P3SG), this first-of-its-kind project will help more than 12,500 smallholder farmers to produce 72,375 tonnes of sorghum implemented between 2023 and 2028.
In Ghana, sorghum is the third cereal grown after maize and rice. While the country produces the commodity almost as much as it consumes, the sector is struggling to cover the growing demand for the cereal, primarily the brewing industry.
Inadequate yields have been identified as a major challenge faced by farmers, resulting from factors such as limited access to production resources, financial services for investment, and climate variations.
However, Hélène Weesie, the Managing Director of Guinness Ghana, emphasized the company’s commitment to sustainable operations.
According to her, the company is currently implementing a supply program involving nearly 30,000 producers from whom it buys 55% of its raw materials, including sorghum, corn, and cassava.
The goal is to create a thriving and sustainable white sorghum supply chain that enables farmers to view sorghum as a profitable business crop within sustainable farming systems.
According to executives, SNV will contribute its expertise in strengthening agri-food systems.
The interventions planned under the P3SG will focus, among other things, on the reorganization of farmers operating in the sector, the improvement of production contracts, and the implementation of training on improved sorghum production techniques.
Mr Pieter Spaarman, the Country Director of SNV Ghana expressed confidence in SNV’s expertise in the agricultural sector and pledged to diligently fulfil the project’s mandate.
The project comes at a time when Ghana’s sorghum production predominantly consists of red sorghum, with only a small portion allocated to large-scale industries.
With postharvest grain losses accounting for approximately 12 percent of total production, Mr. Pieter said that there is significant potential to increase local sorghum.
The P3SG Project is a significant stride towards creating a sustainable and profitable business environment for sorghum farmers in Ghana.