The National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) has signed a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding with Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) to extend agricultural research technology to local farmers supplying raw materials used in beer production.
“We are proud to announce a partnership with Nile Breweries to boost commercial cassava production for our farmers,” NARO said Friday in a statement.
Dr. Ambrose Agona, the Director-General of NARO, said the major aim of this partnership is to address the need to improve the quality and quantity of raw materials (cassava), whose demand is expected to increase as Nile Breweries focuses on turning it into one of their major raw materials.
“In the past years, cassava has been produced in Uganda specifically for food as well as distillation of ethanol. So in this partnership, we expect to boost cassava production from 6 metric tonnes per hectare to 50 or 25 metric tonnes per hectare.”
“Production of beer using local materials will lead to the creation of employment, low cost of production as well as increased production whereby in case we produce excess beers, we shall export the rest to our neighboring countries,” he added.
Theunis Coetzee, Agricultural Services Manager at NBL, revealed that they have decided to start beer production from cassava because of its numerous health advantages compared to other raw materials.
“Cassava, compared to other raw materials like Barley, contains much energy, natural sugars which can be used instead of adding sugar in the beer,” he said.
Theunis assured farmers that as soon as their team working with NARO has confirmed the best cassava brand (from the few selected) suitable for beer production, they will engage farmers’ cooperatives, Farmers’ Unions and other groups grow cassava on a large scale for continued production.
The two entities signed an MoU and a Material Transfer Agreement by which NARO will provide, free of charge and on a non-exclusive basis, materials for research and development.
Through this five year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), NARO and NBL will be complementing each other’s mandates to foster Uganda’s research and development capacity.