Barley farmers in Mau Narok have a reason to smile following
high yields from the new variety, Aliciana Barley, which was introduced by the East
African Breweries Limited (EABL).
According to David Kilesi, Chairman of the Barley Growers
Association of Kenya, the Aliciana Barley variety produced high yields and greater
water logging resistance compared to previous varieties.
“We have seen higher yields this season with the Aliciana
variety compared to the previous varieties we had been planting,” said Mr.Kilesi.
The chair thanked ‘EABL for introducing this (Aliciana)
variety’ and commercializing it to farmers.
Barley being the main raw material for KBL’s beers, the
company continues to invest heavily in research, offering production solutions
to barley growers through its subsidiary East African Malting (EAML).
General Manager EAML Lawrence Maina, who was addressing
stakeholders during field event in Narok County, reiterated EABL’s commitment
to invest and provide varieties that are beneficial to farmers in terms of
improving yields and increasing their income.
“We are very happy that farmers in Narok have embraced the
Aliciana variety following our launch last year. It would not have been
possible for us to commercialize the variety today if it wasn’t for the success
you have experienced,” said Mr. Maina.
EABL also launched the 8th edition of the Barley Growing
Handbook as part of farmer capability building during the Field Day.
Evelyn Koiyan, CEC Agriculture Narok County with (right) Lawrence Maina, General Manager,EAML and Prof Julius Ochuodho.Image|Courtesy
The Handbook summarizes the current recommendations on the
barley varieties to be cultivated by farmers, seed rates, fertilizer usage,
recommended insecticides, fungicides, herbicides to be used on barley and seed
dressers, based on research data generated by the EAML research department.
Maina also emphasized the company’s commitment to not only
offering a ready market, but creating lasting relationships with all the EABL
farmers and support them to enhance both yield and quality.
“EABL has continued to create value chains that are
economically, socially and environmentally sustainable,” he said,
The manager added that, “this handbook will be instrumental
in guiding our farmers on the approach and inputs that will help them deliver a
This year, the event brought together hundreds of farmers
and key partners including Syngenta East Africa ltd, Bayer, BASF, OCP, Mascon
and CMC. In addition, EAML’s research partners such as University of Eldoret,
who were instrumental in developing the handbook, were present.
The farmers were treated to a demonstration on crop
rotation, special fertilizer blends and showcase of barley varieties.
In addition to launching the handbook, EABL reaffirmed its
commitment to environmental conservation by donating a KSH 1.5 million to the
Purko Trust to go towards afforestation of 1000 acres in the Mau region with
the aim of planting 100, 000 tree seedlings next year.
EABL sources 50,000MT of barley from close to 1000 farmers
in five counties of Narok, Nakuru, Usain Gishu and Meru, per year.