Uganda Breweries Ltd (UBL) and Buganda kingdom have agreed to work with cassava-growing farmers to boost cassava production in the region.
UBL says there is an increase in demand for Ngule beer, which requires more supply of cassava. UBL says it needs 1,500 tonnes of cassava, a key ingredient for making Ngule, up from 700 tonnes less than a year after the beer was introduced into the market.
"We need cassava to continue producing this beer. Through Buganda Cultural Development Foundation, we have set up a programme that we are rolling out soon to the counties, where we will work with farmers to see that they increase the production," said Ronald Kawaddwa, the chief executive officer, Majestic Brands, Buganda kingdom's investment arm.
Kawaddwa was speaking at the sidelines of press conference where UBL handed a Shs 515m cheque for royalties accrued to the Buganda kingdom in the previous financial year at Bulange, Mengo.
In January 2016, Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) announced a partnership with Majestic Brands to produce Ngule. This partnership consists of a revenue-sharing agreement that is beneficial to both entities.
Buganda kingdom finance minister Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa announced that they have decided to start a cassava nursery for the youth.
"As a kingdom, it was agreed that we start a cassava nursery in all the 18 counties and that would cost Shs 500 million. Also, the kingdom would spend Shs 3bn on procuring coffee, banana (matooke) and cassava seedlings," he said.
Mark Ocitti, the managing director of UBL, said the company spends an estimated Shs 20bn on sourcing local materials annually. Charles Peter Mayiga, the prime minister of Buganda kingdom, hailed Ngule as a wealth-generating innovation that would get farmers out of poverty.
"This partnership came into effect with the aim of stimulating income levels of both the people and the kingdom and we are glad that Ngule has achieved this for us.
Mayiga added: "The cassava for Ngule is sourced from farmers within the kingdom with the aim of strengthening household incomes. The kingdom prioritized agriculture with emphasis on cassava to ensure our people generate sustainable income."