A factory to brew sorghum beer, locally known as ‘Ikigage,’ and a non-alcoholic drink, ‘Ubushera’, will be set up in Kamonyi District, according to the Board Chairman of Southern Province Investment Corporation (SPIC).
Speaking to Sunday Times recently, Paul Mubiligi, said that the construction works for the factory worth about Rwf1.1 billion will start next month, while production of sorghum drinks will begin in March 2018.
It will be processing about 12,000 litres per day, to make alcoholic, and non-alcoholic sorghum drinks which Mubiligi said can be consumed between one or two days in Kamonyi District, given the size of the market.
About two tonnes of sorghum and maize will be needed as raw materials, which he said will be blended based on formulas that will be agreed on by experienced technicians.
The drinks will be packaged in half-litre bottles, each and are expected to have a long shelf-life of up to six months.
Rationale of the factory
Talking about the factors and purpose that informed the construction of the factory, he said that it was realised that the Ikigage that was being sold on the market was not of good quality and posed a health risk.
Mubiligi pointed out that the authorities in the Southern Province were considering banning the production, sale and consumption of Ikigage over lack of quality, but noted that it was an affordable and popular drink and there was no replacement for it.
“The factory will make drinks that a person can consume safely just after purchase, or take away for future consumption like any other processed and bottled drinks such as sodas or beers,” Mubiligi said.
“We will make sure that the drink is affordable to people. We will set prices that are close to those at which people have been buying the drink,” he added.
Kamonyi District will have shares worth Rwf110 million, and has provided a plot on which the plant will be set up.
Tuyizere said that the factory will ensure that people consume standard drinks, offer jobs to residents and support investment in the district.
On the aspect of sourcing for raw materials, he said that maize is one of the crops that were selected for cultivation in Kamonyi District, and that there is enough produce that the factory will need to operate.