Tanzania: Serengeti Breweriess agri-business programme boosts contract farming
Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) has said it is committed to supporting the farmers' contract farming through its agri-business initiative that incorporated over 400 local farmers spread in eight regions across the country, AllAfrica reported on July 19.
The SBL Corporate Relations Director, John Wanyancha named the regions Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Manyara, Singida, Dodoma, Shinyanga, Mwanza, and Mara.
"SBL provides agricultural inputs such as free quality seeds, fertilizer, technical advice, and other farm implements to farmers through the programme," he said.
He added, SBL also links them to financial institutions to access credit facilities and in return, purchases from them cereals such as maize, sorghum and barley, which it uses for beer production.
He said the brewer's agri-business programme has turned around the lives of farmers and those of their dependents.
"In 2020 alone, SBL sourced 17,000 metric tonnes of these grains locally, equivalent to 70 per cent of SBL's annual total raw materials requirement and were looking to increase sourcing of raw materials from local farmers to 85 per cent by 2025", Wanyancha said.
SBL's ambitious project facilitates farmers growing maize, sorghum and barley in various parts of the country, enabling the company to increase the locally sourced raw materials it uses in beer production. SBL has three breweries located in Dar es Salaam, Moshi and Mwanza, respectively.
SBL supports them by providing free seeds, field technical services and linking them to financial institutions.
SBL has built more confidence in farmers to approach banks and other financial institutions to acquire loans and other financial incentives. Moreover, it has helped them get timely payments for their produce and reliable market, contrary to what used to happen in the past.
Granted, the benefit of the agri-business initiative is that it's a sustainable investment in agriculture that supports the broader strategic goals of the government to reduce poverty and enhance economic growth through agriculture.
Moreover, SBL's contract farming supplements the government's relentless efforts to ensure that farmers have a market and earn better prices for their products and cut back on post-harvest losses, to create viable livelihood options in villages. Along these lines, contract farming has come to be viewed as a necessary ingredient.
The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe told the parliament recently that the government fully supports contract farming that assures farmers of a reliable market for their yields.
With contract farming, farmers can enjoy a ready market with reliable prices; Bashe said the government had decided to embrace contract farming as it addresses several challenges, including the availability of agricultural inputs to the farmers and enabling them to access funding from financial institutions to spur their productivity.
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