BATU leaf exports to earn Uganda $50m

KAMPALA, Uganda—British American Tobacco Uganda (BATU) expects to earn $50 million for Uganda in leaf exports this year.
“In 2013, we have contracted farmers across Uganda to grow over 16 million kilogrammes of tobacco, over 90% of which is exported. This will bring into the country over $50 million in export revenue,” Jonathan D’Souza, the BATU Managing Director said last week.
He said the company this season paid out Ush36 billion (just over $14 million) to 10,200 farmers in the Bunyoro-Mubende tobacco growing region.
The farmers in the districts of Kibale, Hoima, Masindi, Kiryandongo, Kiboga and Kyankwanzi grew and sold 10 million kilogrammes of tobacco to BATU in line with their contract commitments.
BATU invested Ush10 billion in supporting the farmers to grow an international quality crop.
Speaking at a stakeholder meeting to celebrate the end of the tobacco season in Bunyoro-Mubende region, at BAT’s centralised buying centre in Kibati, Hoima district, D’Souza said; “The 2013 buying season in the Bunyoro-Mubende region has ended on high note and we are happy that our farmers fulfilled their promise to meet our leaf demand. That is a sign of their strong commitment to our partnership.”

“The disbursement of Ush36 billion in one tobacco growing region is a testimony to BATU’s strong commitment to investing in its farmers in Uganda. It also goes to show that we are a business that is deeply entrenched in this economy with support of various stakeholders,” he said.
The closure of the Bunyoro-Mubende buying season closely follows that of the West Nile.
 “In West Nile, BATU paid Ush16 billion to 4,700 farmers following a successful planting and buying season.  By the end of all its buying season in Uganda,” D’Souza said
BATU anticipates it would have paid out Ush58 billion to its 18,000 farmers in Uganda in 2013.

Besides supporting the farmers to grow tobacco – one of the most profitable cash crop in Uganda, BATU has also invested shs1.4 billion to support afforestation projects in both West Nile and Bunyoro-Mubende.
Last year, BATU paid over Ush72 billion in taxes in for the financial year 2012/13.
BATU also has over 70% share of the cigarette market.