Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT| Beer maker in Uganda, Nile Breweries Ltd, has unveiled a new initiative to encourage farmers embrace better farming practices to improve sorghum harvests, one of the major components for beer production.
The new annual initiative dubbed ‘Nile Breweries Kickstart Farmer’s Competition’ will see farmers win Shs72million, with the first winner slated for announcement at the end of this month.
Onapito Ekomoloit, the firm’s Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, said the farmers will be evaluated on land preparation, safety, number/quality of employees, yield, and quality among other parameters.
“The next stage which is the post-harvest stage will concentrate on; financial management and growth.” Onapito said, adding that the judges will also more specifically look for excellence in management, growth and scope of the farming enterprise and self-initiative that have been displayed throughout the operation to select the winner.
He said so far, six out of 10 farmers have been knocked off the competition. “At the commencement of this project, we realized a lot of loopholes. Farmers were undermining what we were teaching them through the NBL extension services,” Onapito said.
“But as the competition becomes stiffer, we have realized a huge difference in the quality of farming and participants continue to appreciate good farming practices.”
NBL sources 17,000 tonnes of sorghum from 20,000 farmers countrywide towards beer production. It has a combined capacity of 2.45 million hectolitres for its Jinja and Mbarara plants, with a 59% market share.