TANZANIA – Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL), a subsidiary of East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) has issued over 70 new scholarships to students studying agricultural-related courses in local colleges, to boost skill development in the industry.
This is the second year that SBL supports bright students from underprivileged backgrounds to access college education in agricultural disciplines through its Kilimo-Viwanda program.
In a linked in post, the leading brewer indicated that Last year 40 students were given this opportunity, as it inaugurated the initiative.
Kilimo-Viwanda program is also meant to complement the government’s effort to strengthen the existing pool of agricultural experts in the country, according to SBL Managing Director, Mark Ocitti.
The scholarships cover school fees and other academic-related expenses for the student’s entire period of study.
Other than ensuring the young professionals get impart with the necessary skills and knowledge pertaining to the agriculture industry, SBL has extended its support to 400 local farmers whom according to Ocitti, supplied the company with 17,000 tonnes of grain equivalent to 70 percent of its total raw materials requirement.
This year, SBL alongside its competitor Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL), entered into an agreement with the government to purchase wheat at a minimum price of Tsh 800 (US$0.35) per kilogramme.
This follows the country importing 800,000 – 1 million tons of wheat annually amid availability of arable land and conducive climate to facilitate mass production of the cash crop.
In a bid to ensure ample supply, the Ministry of Agriculture ordered investors holding state wheat farms to resume farming in large scale or forfeit the plantations.
Also, the ministry is planning to spend at least Tsh. 155 billion (US$66m) in research and development to improve crop production.
This is in addition to Tsh. 4 billion (US$1.7m) required to procure and supply improved wheat seeds among smallholder farmers.
Meanwhile, the subsidiary of AB InBev, TBL has partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) to support over 4,000 farmers during the 2021 sorghum season.
The 2021 project which is an extension to last year’s pilot program, targets to produce 10,000 tonnes of sorghum per acre and TBL will buy it at Tsh. 550 (US$0.24) per kilogramme.
The launch of the second phase follows the successful out-come in 2020 which attained a 70% rise in yield compared to the previous years.
TBL Plc currently sources 74 per cent of its raw materials locally and is committed to increasing its local sourcing over the coming years.
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