TANZANIA – Serengeti Breweries Limited, the second largest beer company in Tanzania has unveiled a new plan to support local farmers who grow maize, sorghum and millet, with an aim to increase locally-sourced raw materials to 15,000 tonnes annually, reports IPP media

This amount forms 80% of the total raw materials the company uses in beer production.

In this support program, SBL has integrated a total of 300 farmers with an ambition to increase the number to 450 in a period of two years.

They support the farmers by providing them with free high quality seeds, and facilitates them with capital needed for large scale farming as well as fertilizers and other farming inputs.

SBL is committing to not only provide ready market for the produce from the farmers but also create value for their money, in the long run improving their living standards.

According to SBL, the programme and the recruitment process could only remain sustainable if the government maintains the current excise duty on all beer and spirits in the coming budget, which most likely will impact prices.

With higher prices, sales volumes could decline since consumers would have to change their behaviours through buying competitive products or their substitution.

The government on the other hand expressed its commitment to create an enabling environment necessary for the private sector to flourish.

“By maintaining current prices, the government is assured of more revenue as a result of increased consumption and growth of the alcohol market,” said John Wanyancha, SBL’s Corporate Relations Director.

This comes even as the Tanzanian beer market continually becomes competitive, attracting the interests of the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev, which says has seen ‘healthy growth rates in the middle teens.’

SBL hopes to turn the tables in the local alcohol beverage industry in Tanzania dominated by other local brands from the rival Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL).