Under ‘KilimoViwanda’ program, SBL has undertaken to increase the scholarships from 30 to 50 in order to breed experts in farming who will help feed the government’s industrialization agenda.
Speaking during the program launch at Kilacha Agriculture and Livestock Training Institute in Kilimanjaro earlier this week, SBL Managing Director, Mark Ocitti said the program targets underprivileged students from farming.
“We believe this program will go a long way in strengthening the existing pool of agricultural experts in the country which is necessary in helping farmers increase productivity and ultimately their incomes,” Ocitti said.
He said the scholarship program is in line with the company’s objective to increase its uptake of cereals used in beer production including maize, barley and sorghum. Last year SBL procured over 17,000 tonnes of grains from local farmers, equivalent to 70 percent of its annual raw material requirement.
“SBL’s ambition is to increase its sourcing of local raw materials to 85 percent by 2020 that’s why we find it important to support the government in training specialists such as field extension officers, agronomists and others. We currently source grains from a network of 400 farmers in various regions across the country,” the SBL chief added.
In a vote of thanks, Kilacha Institute’s Principal, Benito Mwenda commended SBL for the initiative and urged other institutions in the private sector to support the development of agriculture sector in the country like the beer brewer.
“We hope more sponsors will come forward to assist us,” Mwenda said. Incorporated in 1988 as Associated Breweries, SBL is the second largest beer brewer in the market with its beer brands accounting for over 25 percent. SBL has three operating plants in Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Moshi.
Since the creation of SBL in 2002, the business has grown its portfolio of brands year on year. The majority stake acquisition by EABL/Diageo in 2010 has seen increased investment in international quality standards leading to greater job opportunities for the people of Tanzania.
SBL Brands have been receiving multiple international awards and include Serengeti Premium Lager, Serengeti Lite, Pilsner Lager, Pilsner King, Tusker Lager, Tusker Lite, Kibo Gold, Guinness stout and Senator. The company is also home to world’s renowned spirits such as Johnnie Walker Whisky, Smirnoff Vodka, Gordon’s Gin, Captain Morgan Rum and Baileys Irish Cream.