TEN students pursuing agriculture production courses at Kilacha Agriculture and Livestock Training Institute have become the second batch of beneficiaries receiving scholarship to study agricultural related courses offered by Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL).
Under Kilimo Viwanda program, SBL has undertaken to offer scholarships to 50 students from farming communities every year to pursue higher education from local agricultural institutions.
Last month, Bagamoyo based Kaole Wazazi College of Agriculture signed a contract with SBL and became the first beneficiary of the program which seeks to beef up the existing pool of experts in the agricultural sector in order to boost farmers’ productivity.
Speaking during the program launch at Kilacha Agriculture and Livestock Training Institute in Kilimanjaro, SBL Managing Director Mark Ocitti, said the program targets students from farming communities whose families cannot afford to part for their tuition fees.
“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,” 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, he said, SBL procured over 17,000 tonnes of grains from local farmers, equivalent to 70 per cent of its annual raw material requirement.
“SBL’s ambition is to increase its sourcing of local raw materials to 85 per cent 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”, Ocitti said.
Speaking at the event, the Institute 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 Serengeti Breweries.