Sorghum farmers in Kisumu now want the government to reduce the proposed excise tax on beer.
The proposed excise tax saw a 10 per cent increase on beer and 25 per cent on other raw materials.
According to the farmers an increase in rates will reduce the industry’s ability to purchase farm inputs.
“Beer is the primary consumer of sorghum and barley produced in Kenya and its decline has forced farmers to cut down on production,” said
The farmers noted that beer is sorghum’s primary consumer and a decline in its production has led to a reduction in the volumes of beer being manufactured.
The prices of barley and sorghum was increased by 23 and 14 per cent respectively by the industry.
A move that the sorghum farmers now say has forced them to cut down on production to prevent them from incurring losses.
Beer is the primary consumer of sorghum and barley produced in Kenya and its decline has forced farmers to cut down on production
According to data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, barley production has declined by 50 per cent in the last 10 years hence affecting farmers from Narok, Meru, Uasin Gishu and Nakuru counties.
Therefore the proposed increase in rates is projected to reduce the production of barley by 5200 tones which translates to Sh1.2 billion.
And at the same time reduce the production of sorghum by 3200 tonnes which translates to Sh 0.6 billion loss to farmers.
These farmers further noted that the increase of the duty rates will not only affect barley production negatively but also other sources of grains used in the process of making beer.