By Our Reporter
NWOYA, Uganda-SHIFTMEDIA- Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) together with the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), have entered into a partnership to boost sourcing of local raw materials .
UBL will source for Barley, Sorghum and Cassava key ingredients in beer making.
The two Parties formalized their partnership during a Memorandum of understanding that was signed at Purongo – Afro-Kai Center in Nwoya District, Northern Uganda on Wednesday.
The five-year partnership will be anchored on UBL’s close collaboration with OWC and other relevant stakeholders and public institutions in Uganda in line with the overall goal of The Third National Development Plan (NDP III).
The NDP III goal seeks: “To increase household incomes and improve the quality of life of Ugandans, under the theme of Sustainable industrialization for inclusive growth, employment and wealth creation”.
The main focus of the collaboration is going to be on raising agricultural production and productivity, agro processing and value addition with respect to Barley, Sorghum, Cassava and Fruits which are intended to be locally sourced by UBL, for the purpose of expanding UBL’s range of alcoholic beverages and spirit.
Considering potential to create wealth at household levels, OWC shall under this arrangement coordinate other institutions of government such Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well other value chain actors such as the Uganda Grain Council to provide the necessary support and facilities to enable farmers through the governments Parish Development Model (PDM) to increase their production, comply and maintain quality standards.
To achieve this, OWC and UBL shall jointly undertake different exercises such as capacity building of selected farmers in the use of advanced agronomic practices and technologies, provide inputs, provide crop protection materials such as pesticides, and herbicides to address disease control and phytosanitary challenges.
In Uganda, the agricultural sector contributes over 25% of national GDP and employs over 70% of Uganda’s population which provides great conduit for economic growth and economic inclusion.
The major aim of the Agro-industrialization programme is to address the dominant subsistence sector by increasing commercialization and competitiveness of agricultural production and agro processing.
Under the partnership, Uganda Breweries Limited will spends over UGX 45 billion on farming communities in Northern, Eastern and Western Uganda. This partnership means that with combined efforts of the two entities, farmers will be able to benefit from an even wider market for their crops.
The UBL Managing Director Alvin Mbugua said joining forces with OWC increases the scope of reach which the LRM has been able to attain this far. “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.”
Recently, UBL entered a partnership with NARO to foster and promote research and development aimed at advancing agricultural production and productivity for rural farmers. Both UBL and the Agricultural Value chain actors led by OWC will work towards marketing and advancing export promotion of the crop by-products to the wider East African Community (EAC) and the rest of Africa and global markets as a measure to create wealth at household levels.
“A s we celebrate 25 years of existence in Uganda, we are celebrating this milestone with our farmers thanks to our partnership with OWC,” he said.
OWC Chief Coordinator Rtd Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho Salim Saleh said: “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.’ He added: “We aim to empower small holder farmers in most of our efforts at OWC. The role of Private Sector in achieving the government’s development agenda by driving agricultural productivity, opening up markets, and facilitating increased private investment in the sector cannot be undermined.”
Gen. Salim Saleh handed over the book, Who and Where is the Farmer? to Mr. Alvin Mbugua. The book commissioned by OWC is a compilation of a set of research done to understand the power relations of the agricultural value chain.