Marketing Potential for Commercial Sorghum Malt in Northern Ghana

Boaresa K. Isaac, Bawah Demuyakor, Joseph A. Awuni


The study was conducted in four districts in the Northern and Volta regions of Ghana, to investigate the commercial potential of sorghum malt and the quality of sorghum and sorghum malt that small scale brewers prefer. The constraints these small scale maltsters and brewers encounter in their work were also investigated.  Purposeful sampling technique was employed to select the communities and snowball sampling was used to identify the brewers and maltsters in the communities. Two hundred and fifteen (215) respondents were interviewed in the four districts; three of the districts are located in the Northern Region and one district in the Volta Region of Ghana. The quality attributes of sorghum and sorghum malt preferred by the small scale breweries and maltsters include; good germination rate, presence of a characteristic flavor of malt, and that the malt should not look mouldy.  The sorghum grain should not contain foreign materials, whole/undamaged grain and that the grain should not look powdery. The quality factors of malt are very important as they determine the quality of the end product (pito) which is a determinant for good market. The common variety of sorghum used in the northern part of Volta region is the ‘Konkomba’ sorghum variety. While Naga red is most commonly used variety of sorghum in the Northern region followed by Chere and the mixture of Naga red and Chere. The constraints brewers and maltsters encountered in these areas include; shortage of sorghum, increase in sorghum price, malt losses due to bad weather during the raining season, poor market for pito during the raining season and lack of financial institutions to support them with funds. The commercial prospect for sorghum malt as revealed by the study indicates that 85% of the respondents were willing to purchase commercial sorghum malt.

Key words: Sorghum varieties, Commercial sorghum malt, Marketing potential

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