Dr. Ambrose Agona, DG of NARO (2nd L) & Alvin Mbugua, UBL MD (2nd R) sign the MoU as Dr. Sadik Kasim, Deputy DG of NARO (L) & Juliana Kagwa, UBL Corporate Relations Director look on.
Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) and the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) have today launched a partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation commitment that seeks to establish, foster and promote research and development collaboration, linkages and partnership for purposes of advancing agricultural productivity under UBL’s Local Raw Materials program (LRM).
Local Raw Materials is a Uganda Breweries Program that seeks to source 100% of the materials they use in their production processes locally. This program has been developed In line with the second objective of the Third National Development Plan (NDP III) which is to “Strengthen the private sector to create jobs” and the overall theme of “Sustainable Industrialization for inclusive growth, employment and sustainable wealth creation.”
In light of the above, Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) is making significant investment in Uganda aimed at boosting local production capacity, import substitution, promotion of local content and job creation.
The Managing Director of UBL Alvin Mbugua said “UBL is now making 96% of its brands locally. The brewery works with over 20,000 farmers, directly benefiting over 25,000 households countrywide and invests over 45 billion shillings in farming communities annually”
The 5-year Partnership will engage NARO to provide agricultural research and development support to UBL through NARO’s constituent public agricultural research institutes earmarked and provide opportunities for conducting laboratory and field research trials as well as provide agricultural research and development technical backstopping that can boost development and growth of UBL’s Local Raw Material (LRM) program
The Director General of NARO Dr. Ambrose Agona said that in partnering with NARO on this venture, Uganda Breweries has contributed to the NARO ten year goal of innovating for sustainable Agricultural Transformation through financial support to set up agricultural research infrastructure at NARO’s designated constituent public agricultural research institutes, and also by offering support to post-doctoral students under their scholarship program. “We are happy to enter this partnership with Uganda Breweries Limited and pledge to work together to achieve mutual benefits that will go a long way in improving the livelihoods of farming communities who have long been the backbone of our nation
Uganda Breweries will pledge to support NARO to transfer and disseminate agricultural research and development technologies from NARO to the farming communities and value chains. In addition, UBL will utilize NARO owned agricultural technologies in UBL’s local sourcing programs to boost productivity, improve household income and promote BUBU at the Agricultural sourcing level.
“Sourcing quality raw materials locally for our products connects us to the communities where we work, allowing us to strengthen local farming and change lives. It makes our supply chain more resilient and creates a healthy economic loop in national economies. We know that the long-term success of programmes like ours rests on mutually respectful and supportive relationships with other organisations: governments, NGOs, suppliers, farming co-operatives and the like. This landmark partnership with NARO therefore seeks to deliver on our fundamental objectives of the LRM program.” said Uganda Breweries MD Alvin Mbugua adding that Programmes like this are a step in the right direction and that the company would “continue to look closely at the context and impact of our activities, working thoughtfully to enhance people’s lives long term.”
Part of this engagement will seek to support scientists, post-doc students to jointly plan and execute research projects and trainings through UBL’s scholarship program (Skills for Life Program) that both parties find important in advancing research under UBL’s LRM.
The two entities will exchange information, technology and practices that increase agricultural production and productivity, publish well researched data and manuals for farmer trainings that will be used for skilling growers and improving knowledge among UBL’s farmers in best agronomic practices and Jointly develop effective sorghum, barley and cassava seed production and distribution systems for enhancing sustainable access of smallholder farmers access to quality planting materials among other things.