This project involved a public-private-partnership project that substantially improved the sorghum supply chain in both Ghana and Sierra Leone. The project enabled sorghum farmers to meet market specifications by adopting technology in areas where private sector stakeholders (agricultural processors as well as input providers) have a clearly vested interest in facilitating farmers’ access to information, skills and market-linked inputs. The beverage industries in both countries (i.e. Heineken, Guinness and their subsidiaries) are committed to purchase locally produced sorghum to be able to substitute a portion of the raw material presently being imported. As an outcome of the project, sorghum farmers were able to improve productivity and increase their net incomes through greater access to improved inputs, processing technologies, and marketing options provided through commercial agribusinesses and producer associations. Sorghum seed farmers were able to supply high yielding varieties and private input suppliers and marketing entrepreneurs improved the quality of their services to their client farmer groups.
All goals and objectives i.e. the development of a stable supply chain for local sorghum to two breweries in West Africa have been fully achieved. Sorghum has thus been successfully converted from a neglected subsistence crop to a cash crop that enables farmers (some of them for the first time) to earn a cash income. At the end of the project some 12,000 farmers in two countries now deliver sorghum to the Heineken and Guinness brewery in Sierra Leone and Ghana respectively. Annual sustained income for these farmers is 2 million USD per annum (with an increasing trend). An independent evaluation conducted by Emmen University resulted in an estimated increase of average annual net income for participating sorghum farmers in Ghana from USD 60 to USD 110 per farming household, and from USD 50 to USD 100 per farming household in Sierra Leone. The project design has already been replicated by breweries in Cameroon, Burundi, Rwanda and DR Congo (with rice) partly with funding of the Dutch “Schoklandfonds”. Further expansion plans of sorghum utilization by the two participating multinational breweries as well as from non-participating breweries are known. The project has been awarded with the 2010 World Business & Development Award issued jointly by the International Chamber of Commerce, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Business Leaders Forum for its innovative design and successful Public Private Sector Partnership approach.