UGANDA – Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has entered into a 5-year partnership with Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), to boost its Local Raw Materials (LRM) program and take a step closer to achieving its ultimate goal of sourcing 100% of the raw materials for the brewery, locally.
The Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) is a Presidential initiative aimed to facilitate socio-economic transformation in the country by raising of homestead income levels and generating wealth for families through the transformation of agriculture by turning subsistence farmers into commercial farmers.
Through this partnership, the brewer will engage with the public sector including the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) to facilitate local farmers to supply quality raw materials for the leading alcohol manufacturer.
“Partnering with public sectors like we have with OWC, significantly increases the farmers that we currently reach, easily moving us from impacting over 45,000 farmers to double or more.”Mr Alvin Mbugua – Managing Director of UBL
The initiative will enable exchange of experience and capacity building of selected farmers in the use of agriculture technologies to increase production of the 3 strategic crops; barley, sorghum and cassava.
“We shall collaboratively work with the public sector players in the Ministry of Agriculture to address disease control challenges, jointly identify plant protection and phytosanitary matters and work together on best practice soil fertility management for purposes of increasing the yield per acre for the said strategic crops,” indicated UBL in a press-statement.
UBL’s Local Raw Materials program facilitates rural farmers to improve household incomes by providing a ready market for their crops.
Every year, the brewery spends over Ush 45 billion (US$12m) on farming communities in Northern, Eastern and Western Uganda.
With the joint efforts, accelerated by the partnership with the public sector, the beer maker is set to impact more Ugandans by increasing the number of households that benefit from the program from 45,000 currently to double or more than that.
“As the private sector, sometimes our reach can be limited by resources and teams to manage mobilization efforts.
“Partnering with public sectors like we have with OWC, significantly increases the farmers that we currently reach, easily moving us from impacting over 45,000 farmers to double or more,” said Mr Alvin Mbugua Managing Director of UBL.
Agriculture in Uganda contributes to 25% of the national GDP and employs over 70% of the population.
It provides great avenues for economic growth and economic inclusion which the Ministry of Agriculture and the LRM program seek to achieve in contribution to helping Uganda achieve the Third National Development Plan (NDP III) and consequently deliver Uganda to middle income status.
“The partnership is going to be a great avenue for changing the adverse position of the farmers in the value chains of those strategic crops by improving their production and productivity and having market from a willing and ready buyer in UBL, one of the biggest manufacturers and exporters in the whole of the East African Region,” Gen Salim Saleh, the OWC Chief coordinator.
Recently, UBL entered into a partnership with NARO to foster and promote research and development aimed at advancing agricultural production and productivity for rural farmers.
The company has also been working with farmers’ cooperatives in the country to promote the production of the said crops.
Meanwhile in East Africa’s largest economy, UBL’s sister company Kenya Breweries Limited has unveiled a KSh1 billion (US$9.2 million) fund to promote commercial production of a traditional sorghum variety that is resistant to pests and birds and is expected to give farmers a good return.
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