A JOINT research project by Tanzania Breweries Public Limited Company and Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) has produced a variety of sorghum seeds that are currently being analyzed for their suitability for brewing beer.
The project is aimed at improving the quality of sorghum seeds in Tanzania.
The seeds were grown under four varying conditions; with fertilizer, without fertilizer, best agricultural practices and traditional farming methods.
Sorghum seeds grown through best agricultural practices proved to have a higher yield of around 43 per cent better than those grown through other conditions.
TBL Plc’s Managing Director Philip Redman said he was optimistic about the sorghum seed research project, which was launched in December 2019 at Hombolo, Kibaigwa and Kongwa districts adding that it could play a key role in producing good sorghum seed variety that could also be planted in other areas of Tanzania.
“Through the project, sorghum farmers will also be given grower guides to supplement the crop management practices that are championed by our agriculture extension team,” he said.
He added, all these initiatives aimed to enhance the quality and quantity of sorghum farmer yields, reduce their use of water and ensure crop protection through the provision of insurance.
According to Mr Redman, his company was keen to boost the livelihoods of farmers as well as provide TBL with much needed raw material.
Sorghum is used in the production of TBL’s affordable beers including eagle lager and bia bingwa.
The company sources 74 per cent of its raw materials locally and has expressed commitment to increasing its local sourcing over the coming years.
For his part, Centre Manager for TARI Hombolo Dr Lameck Makoye who is heading the sorghum research project said the partnership between TARI and TBL was a reliable and sustainable way of helping farmers to improve their yields and livelihoods.
He said TARI was committed to producing enough certified seeds to meet the needs of sorghum farmers who would continue to be exposed to good agricultural practices of sorghum through the TBL-TARI project.