Local Raw Materials support
Through our Local Raw Material program we provide farmers with the necessary seeds to grow the grain we need for our processes. We educate them on how to achieve the right quality and subsequently provide the market once the crop is harvested.
In 2011, our gross direct payments to farmers amounted to approximately USD $4 million and in 2014, we paid out a total of approximately USD $7 million. Over a three year period, approximately USD $18 million was paid out to farmers and other actors in the value chains of Barley, Sorghum, Corn starch (maize) and Tapioca. This represents a 50% increment in our brewing crop requirements over a three year period.
In 2015, we reached a total of approximately 17,000 farmers under our LRM agenda and in turn benefitted over 25,000 households countrywide. Our annual target is to purchase over 2,000 metric tons of barley, 4,500 of sorghum, 3,000 of cornstarch and 3,208 of high quality cassava flour.
We infuse an annual average of about Ushs 20 billion into farming communities and value chains to obtain locally grown raw materials for our brewing operations. We have also invested over USD $10 million into the local grain sector promotion including large sorghum trials in Ngenge/Kapchorwa and Nwoya in the last seven years.
The benefits to the communities are huge as the standards of living have improved over the years. Because we guarantee market, farmers and various suppliers are able to plan for and see increased income which has translated into construction of permanent homes, access to available healthcare, better nutrition and ability to send their children to school. Some have improved their transport means through purchase of motorcycles and cars following their crop sales.
It is important to point out that through our LRM agenda there has been women empowerment. 50% of the materials are grown by women or women groups. When it comes to contracted agents who bulk the crop for delivery to UBL, 60% of individuals and company directors are women.
If you consider the above, the impact on the economy is immeasurable. We are contributing both directly and indirectly to Uganda’s GDP, whether it is through our own tax contribution or that of the suppliers or through the job creation along the supply chain. We believe that using local raw materials means a reduction in cost of production and Ugandans can also therefore afford our quality products, which they can enjoy as part of their celebrations.
Uganda Breweries has significantly continued to impact the lives of many famers in the country, especially under its Local Raw Material programme.
Under the programme, the company supplies farmers with quality seeds, modern farming equipment and trainings throughout the seasons for improved productivity. Uganda Breweries injects approximately Shs20b annually into farming communities and value chains to obtain locally grown raw materials for its brewing operations.
UBL Agriculture Manager Joseph Kawuki says the LRM programme has been very beneficial to more than 17,000 farmers and their surroundings and a lot more is still to come in all LRM communities./p>
In 2007, under the EABL foundation, 200 water tanks were constructed under the ‘water for life’ programme to benefit 1,000 farmer households. 15 boreholes were built in the sorghum and barley growing communities of northern Uganda in 2014, there have been several E- green tree planting activities in LRM growing communities,” he says.
He adds: “We are glad that the initiative has bettered farmers’ lives and the people around them we are not about to stop. Our offices are open to any farmer that is willing to grow any of the crops above.”
Moses Kiptala is a barley farmer in Mengya Sub-county, Kapchorwa District. When he started farming 10 years ago, his life was miserable as a cattle keeper, an activity that he says was very tiresome. Together with his family, he decided to try something else. He started maize farming but the crop could take longer to mature yet it hard no ready market. “I could not sustain the family with maize growing. My children were in school but it was tough paying school fees,” he says.
Later, Kiptala ventured into Irish potato growing. Because it had a high demand then, the crop became a gold mine for the family. The only challenge was that since it could only be planted twice a year, the family was struggling during off season.
“I also tried growing wheat. It was fairly okay but there was no ready market. In 2008, Uganda Breweries Ltd (UBL) introduced the Local Raw Material programme (LRM). I started growing Barley. Since then, I have never looked back, barley has transformed our lives incredibly,” he says.
He adds: “Two of my children have completed campus and the other two (one at Kyambogo University and the other at Makererere University) will be finishing soon. There other siblings are also studying in Kampala. I am so grateful that I have been able to give my children quality education through growing this crop.”
Kiptala says LRM has also enabled him to set up a primary school for the community. Mengya Primary school is fully registered with the Ministry of Education and Sports. The school that runs from Pre-primary to Primary Seven has qualified teachers; children are getting quality education.
“I have also managed to build two permanent houses; one in Kapchorwa town and another in Mengya Sub-county. I’m truly grateful to UBL for LRM programme,” he says.
Kiptala Moses is one of the farmers who have benefited from growing barley, which is supplied by UBL under the brewer’s LRM programme. Other crops are sorghum and cassava that have equally transformed the LRM farming communities’ lives.
Moses Opio is a sorghum grower in Bar Dege Parish, Batta Sub-county in Dokolo District. He says he has earned immensely from growing sorghum. The former carpenter says the crop has helped him to live his dream.
“I used to earn Shs100, 000 or less monthly from carpentry work but when I started farming, I earn between Shs4-6m and Shs6-8m per-season from sorghum. I am so happy with LRM programme because it has transformed my life,” he says with a smile.
When he joined the LRM programme in 2000, he didn’t know how it would turn out but slowly, he started earning and saving. He has since managed to put up a commercial building of 18 rooms in the trading centre. He owns a farm shop where farmers can now buy seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides.
“Transportation was a challenge but I managed to buy a car (Ipsum) it helps me transport the crop and a motor bike that helps me move around to monitor my gardens and other farmers I buy from sorghum because I am a farmer but also an agent. I managed to buy land worth Shs8m in Dokolo town where I am constructing another commercial building of 26 rooms,” he says.
He would add: “My children are in a good private school, my wife is happy, I have managed to help my relatives. I am supporting two other children and I have also managed to build a permanent six- bedroom self- contained house. As a carpenter I am sure I wouldn’t be where I am today."
Sam Opio is a cassava farmer in Apac Sub-county in Apac District. He says LRM programme has helped a lot in improving farmers’ lives and the communities.
“Initially, I was practicing mixed farming and it was just fair. I joined the LRM programme in 2010 and I have accomplished quite a lot. I started with two acres of cassava then multiplied to 20 acres. Currently, I have 85 acres of cassava plantation. I am currently supplying some farmers with planting materials and I am also constructing a cassava dryer technology factory where I will employ quite a number of people,” he says.
He says the modern cassava factory, the first of its kind in Uganda, will be installed on December 15, and will start operations in January.
“I have nine children. I have managed to educate them. Three have graduated with masters, two with degrees, two with diplomas and two are still pursuing,” he says.
Eastern region (Sebeyi, Bukwa, Kwehi and Kapchorwa) barley farmers.
UBL Eastern region agronomist Joas Mulega says; “we started with more than 500 barley farmers and the harvest was about 500 tonnes, which was a good start. The first impact was job creation and this has been continuous throughout. I proudly say we have expanded and more farmers have joined the programme. We now boast of over 2000 farmers. In the last six years, many farmers have constructed beautiful houses. The farmers also grow other crops such as Irish potatoes and maize but barley remains their major source of income- barley has been nicknamed “the school fees crop.” Barley is grown twice a year. On a good harvest, it can fetch about Shs4m per season.”
Northern region (lago, Acholi,Teso, West Nile). Sorghum, barley and cassava farmers.
UBL Northern region agronomist Paul Okello says; “more than 3,500 farmers were initially enrolled for the programme. Currently, the number has increased to more than 10,000 farmers, we are positive the numbers are still increasing. Last year, we managed to set up 20 boreholes in Kitgum, Lamol, Pedel, Apach and Agogo districts for farmers and communities to easily access clean water. The transformation is not rapid but I have seen farmers move from grass thatched shelters to better houses and a change in their lifestyle.”