The Arusha Times

Issue 00480

August 4 - 10, 2007

issn 0856 - 9135 

Local News

Quality barley bolsters Arusha made beer

By Valentine Marc Nkwame

Barley grown within the Northern Zone of Tanzania, especially in Arusha and Kilimanjaro Regions, could be of the best variety not only in the entire African continent but onto as far as Asia, judging from the accolades that the Arusha based, Tanzania Breweries Company Limited plant has been winning, in terms of producing the best beer in the two continents.

The local brewery plant, located in the corridor area of Arusha Municipality is using malt from 100 percent locally-grown barley, compared to other similar plants in other regions, like the one in Dar-es-salaam which makes beer from 100 percent imported Barley and the Mwanza based brewery which uses both local and alien barley at ratio of 50 to 50 percent.

David Bategereza, the Barley Development Manager for Tanzania Breweries Limited stated that, out of the three plants, it is the Arusha brewery branch whose products are being brewed from 100 percent, local malt, have been winning the ‘Best beer’ awards, not only in Africa but throughout Asia as well and for three years in a row.

"This just goes to show how good the locally grown Barley is," said Bategereza. The Barley Development Manager was speaking at the climax of a two-day workshop, which TBL had organized for local Barley farmers from Arusha, Monduli and Arumeru Districts. The workshop was held at the Likamba ward of Monduli and about 60 farmers attended.

Speaking to this paper, a number of farmers suggested that the price for their Barley should be increased from the current Tsh. 300 per kilogram, to between, Tshs. 400 and 500 due to the constantly rising costs of production, especially now that drought keep taking toll on their farms. Samuel L’satian who owns 80 acres of barley wants the price to be raised to Tsh. 400 while others such as John Koira of Monduli preferred Tsh. 500.

Meanwhile also, the Tanzania Breweries Limited has moved the Barley-Malt laboratories from Moshi town of Kilimanjaro to Arusha, where TBL has leased the huge granaries and grain sifting establishment belonging to the National Milling Company (NMC) at Unga-Limited area, in order to bring the services much nearer to the local farmers.

According to Mr. Bategereza TBL has been assisting local farmers in the initial production process of Barley in addition to providing a ready market for their farm produce. Next year, the firm intends to introduce Barley farming to other parts of the country such as Iringa, Njombe and Mbeya in the Southern highlands.

At the moment Barley is being grown mostly in the North, precisely in West Kilimanjaro, Arumeru, Arusha, Karatu, Monduli and Hanang. According to local farmers, a single acre could yield up to 15 bags (1500 kilogram) of quality barley at the moment though during the early years of the 60s, when the grounds were still ‘rich’ such an acre could sprout 80 bags (8000 kilograms).

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