Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC and SNV Netherlands Development Organization have announced an initiative aimed at significantly enhancing sustainable production and supply of high-quality white sorghum for processing purposes in Ghana.
Both Diageo (the parent company of Guinness Ghana) and SNV have operations in various countries across Africa, but this partnership is the first of its kind.
The joint initiative, known as Partnership for Sustainable Sorghum Sourcing in Ghana (P3SG), will empower over 12,500 smallholder and commercial farmers, including women and youth, to produce 72,375 metric tons of sorghum within the project period, spanning from 2023 to 2028. 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.
Managing Director of Guinness Ghana, Helene Weesie notes, “currently, the inability of farmers to meet the demands of Guinness Ghana stems from poor yields resulting from inadequate access to production resources, including improved seeds, agro-inputs such as fertilizers, financial services for investment in production, and climate variabilities.”
“As a business committed to doing business the right way and ensuring its operations are sustainable by design, the P3SG Project proposes the implementation of improved farmer organization to effectively engage with a large number of farmers, mutual understanding of quality and supply standards across the supply chain, equitable pricing and contracting terms for a profitable business for all, improved production techniques to enhance yield and quality while meeting environmental and quality standards, and active involvement of women and youth in production and trading to create new dynamics in the sub-sector.”
On his part, the Country Director of SNV Ghana, Pieter Spaarman adds that, “agriculture is a sector SNV has vast expertise and knowledge in with our work revolving around this sector since we began working in Ghana over three decades ago. Currently, our aim is agri-foods promotion and in this respect, our collaboration with Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC and other value chain actors to deliver and support outputs through effective backward integration of the local sorghum supply chain could not have come at a better time.”
“Together with Guinness Ghana and our partners in the Northern regions, where the Partnership for Sustainable Sorghum Sourcing in Ghana (P3SG) Project will be implemented, we look forward to improving livelihoods of farmers, increasing access to basic services and safeguarding sustainable and quality practices along the white sorghum value chain in Ghana” Mr. Spaarman states.
According to the African Postharvest Losses Information System (APHLIS), in 2018, Ghana’s total sorghum production was estimated at 278,000 tonnes, mostly red sorghum with only a small portion of white sorghum allocated to large-scale industrial breweries. Postharvest grain losses accounted for approximately 12% of total production, indicating substantial room for increasing local sorghum sourcing for breweries without compromising food security in the region.
The P3SG Project represents a significant step towards creating a sustainable and profitable business environment for sorghum farmers in Ghana. Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC and SNV Netherlands Development Organization are committed to working closely with all stakeholders to achieve the outlined objectives and make a positive impact on the livelihoods of farmers, particularly women and youth.