BAT’s contribution to the Ugandan economy is questionable
Posted Friday, September 27 2013 at 01:00
British American Tobacco (BAT) is quoting macro numbers to create the impression that its activities generate support of gargantuan proportions. However, a closer look at the numbers shows that its activities rather perpetuate poverty.
A breakdown of its supposed contribution to the economy makes it clear that what is actually transpiring is far from what is being told.
BAT as per its advert in the Daily Monitor of September 12, says it paid farmers in West Nile a gross amount of Shs16 billion which went to 4,700 farmers. Simple arithmetic shows that this gross amount translates to Shs3.4 million per year and Shs284,000 per farmer.
This amount goes to farmers’ households and for each household the number of people who contribute to the revenue is at least two.
If the amount is further deducted for cost of inputs, such as seeds and implements supplied to the farmers, it is reasonable to project that each farm household gets less than Shs100,000 per month.
It is, therefore, not surprising that tobacco farmers in the West Nile are amongst the poorest people in Uganda.
BAT also projects that it will be paying Shs50 billion to 18,000 farmers in Uganda for 2013. For this broader coverage, the average farm household earns Shs2.8 million per year and Shs231,000 per month.
Thus as previously illustrated, the average net income per household even gets worse for the broader coverage and goes to show that within the tobacco farming community even the challenged situation of West Nile farmers appear to be the best on offer.
Uganda National Tobacco