Kween, (UG): Nile Breweries has launched a Shs4bn state-of-the-art barley cleaning and drying plant in Cheminy, Kween District, it said in a press release dated Nov.7.
The state-of-the-art plant, strategically located in the heart of Sebei region, will play a pivotal role in advancing the quality and sustainability of barley production in the region.
The drying and cleaning plant will ensure that over 5,000 barley farmers in Kween, Kapchorwa and Bukwo Districts have access to a safe storage facility to maintain the quality of their barley and mitigate post-harvest loss.
Adu Rando, the managing director, Nile Breweries, said that the plant will provide a storage facility to over 5,000 barley farmers in the Sebei region.
“The drying and cleaning plant has the capacity to store and process over 250 metric tonnes of barley daily,” he noted “Its opening reaffirms our commitment to supporting our local farmers to maximize their yields and reduce post-harvest losses while also ensuring quality control and convenience.”
According to Adu, Nile Breweries buys over 8,000 metric tons of barley from farmers in Sebei region annually.
Currently, farmers have been practicing open-air; they spread their barley out in the sun for several hours and days which has led to loss of the quality of their produce.
According to the brewery, over 35% of the barley collected from the farmers goes to waste.
“We are committed to sourcing the highest quality barley for our beer production,” Adu said, “With the drying plant, farmers will now dry, clean, and store their barley in perfect condition at the facility straight from their farms. This will accelerate the drying process without altering the quality of the grain.”
Nile Breweries uses homegrown barley, sorghum, maize and cassava to brew its beers.
Currently, the brewer has contracted over 25,000 farmers in Northern, Eastern and South-Western Uganda and purchases produce worth Shs109.3 billion annually from local farmers.
Joseph Luzinda, Agricultural Services Manager, Nile Breweries the harvesting period in Sebei region coincides with the rainy season which has been impacting the quality of barley and leading to post-harvest losses.
“Our farmers put a lot of effort in growing top quality barley, this plant will ensure that their efforts do not go to waste, and they can now focus on growing, knowing that they now have a ready and easily accessible drying facility,” Luzinda said.
The barley drying and cleaning plant boasts cutting-edge technology and is the first dryer of its kind in Uganda.
The brewery is also constructing a second barley dryer in Kabale district which is expected to be commissioned in the coming year.
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