Uganda Breweries Limited hosted farmers to a forum to discuss the potential to scale up farming to supplement government efforts to see manufactures embrace full sourcing of raw materials they use in their production processes locally.
The forum which ran under the theme Agriculture as an Enabler to the Buy Uganda Build Uganda Agenda brought together stakeholders from Government, Tax Body, Farmers Unions and the Private Sector Foundation at Hotel Africana on Sept.28.
Uganda Breweries, which already sources over 95% of its raw materials locally, hosted the forum to attract the different stakeholders to weigh in on how all entities can work together to support manufacturing.
Speaking at the forum, the Managing Director of Uganda Breweries Andrew Kilonzo said, “that at the core of the Local Raw Materials (LRM) agenda, UBL is making farming more productive and profitable for Ugandan farmers, which is critical in reducing poverty, boosting prosperity and creating jobs. The use of Local Raw Materials is acknowledged to have a highly positive impact on the economy as it puts earnings directly into the pockets of more local farmers.”
Research from Euromonitor puts the contribution of packaged drinks in the industry at only 35.5%. A significant portion of the industry 64.5% is unpacked and illicit.
The company’s MD added: “We seek support in enacting policies and laws that protect our industries against illicit and counterfeit products which cost the government over UGX 1.6 trillion annually in leaked taxes. We also continue to advocate for a well-regulated environment for all players in the sector so that Building Uganda through Buying Uganda is truly a mutually beneficial program.”
The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fishers Frank Tumwebaze commended Uganda Breweries for their efforts in working with farming communities and for organizing this dialogue.
He said, “this kind of initiative by the private sector is at the center of supporting the government to realise its objectives as laid out in the National Development Plan III which is poised on creating value addition to strengthen the private sector capacity to drive growth and create jobs.”
Data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, estimates that Agriculture employs 70% of the population, contributes about 33% of Uganda’s export earnings and makes up about 24% of our country’s GDP.
Uganda Breweries currently works with over 25000 farmers from all over the country to purchase over 8,000 Tonnes of Barley, 15,000 Tonnes of Sorghum, 18,000 Tonnes of Maize, and 1,000 Tonnes of Cassava; 30% of that from Northern Uganda, 25% from Eastern Uganda, 35% from Western Uganda and 10% from Central Region.