President Museveni has hailed beer company, Nile Breweries Ltd (NBL), for creating jobs and revenue opportunities to farmers and government.
While opening the new NBL brewery plant in Mbarara District yesterday, the President said: “In the past beer was manufactured using imported cereals yet we had cereals here. Why do we use imported cereals when we have sorghum and maize here? By buying from the local markets, beer companies have improved what we call forward and backward linkages.”
The establishment worth $90.6 million (about Shs235 billion) will be producing 5.5 million crates of beers per annum and will expand to 1.8 hectoliters. It uses sorghum, maize and barley, which will largely be grown by farmers in the region. “The investment is a good boost to our economy because farmers will produce more maize and sorghum,” Mr Museveni said.
The expanded production will also see the company export beer to DR Congo and South Sudan. Mr Museveni cautioned people against degrading River Rwizi because a lot of factors that need to use a lot of water are being established in the region. His reaction comes against the backdrop of reports of encroachment of the river banks, which has led to silting and reduced water level. “This river has been here for long and has been abused by peasants; growing food and eucalyptus on the banks,” Mr Museveni said.
The NBL managing director, Mr Nick Jenkinson, said the company will among other social responsibilities, sponsor students of farmers to attend good quality secondary schools and institutions.