By Patrick Kagenda
The Speaker of Parliament Rebbeca Kadaga has pledged parliament’s support to industries that promote agro processing in Uganda. Kadaga said this while meeting the new Managing Director of Nile Breweries Limited (NBL), and Rwenzori Bottling Company (RBC), Greg Metcalf, at her office on Monday, June 23, 2014. “Parliament will work to maintain the status quo of government supporting industries that promote agriculture and provide market to farmers,” the speaker said.
During the meeting, the new Managing Director told the speaker that NBL was committed to Ugandan farmers and had invested US$ 200 million in the last five years alone, including in building a new brewery in Mbarara.
“We appreciate the co-operation of parliament in what has been a win-win programme,” he said, adding, “Parliament should not encourage draconian alcohol legislation that will only drive alcohol underground with dire consequences,” said Greg.
Nile Breweries employees over 1,000 Ugandans directly, and its value chain employ`s another 200,000 people and the company pays Shs.200 billion annually to government in taxes.
It is Uganda’s largest brewer by volume and market share, buys agricultural raw materials from over 20,000 Ugandan farmers, who produce barley, sorghum and maize for it to make beer. The company spends Ushs.40 billion annually to buy grain from farmers.
Greg informed speaker Kadaga that Nile Breweries was committed to ensuring that beer was the natural choice for the moderate and responsible drinker and the company had trained over 3,000 retail bars to sell beer responsibly.
He requested the Speaker to ensure that parliament maintains moderate alcohol legislation in Uganda. Nile Breweries Limited and Rwenzori Bottling Company are Ugandan subsidiaries of SABMiller Plc.