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Over Sh3 billion to be spent on alcohol today

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Bonge, Dec 25, 2010.

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    Bonge JF-Expert Member

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    Over Sh3 billion to be spent on alcohol today Send to a friend Friday, 24 December 2010 23:06

    By The Citizen Team
    Dar es Salaam. On average, nearly 2.2 million bottles of branded beer are consumed in Tanzania every day, creating an annual booze economy of over Sh1 trillion, The Citizen on Saturday can authoritatively report.Industry insiders say today being Christmas, over Sh3 billion worth of alcohol will be consumed, with most of it being downed in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Mwanza. A similar drinking and spending spree is expected next Saturday when Tanzanians will be celebrating the New Year.
    With a half-litre bottle of beer selling for an average of Sh1,500, the about 1.1 million litres drank daily translate into Sh3.3 billion in sales. With drinking in this part of the world being a customary activity of the festive season, whereby even those who are occasional drinkers save for the period, revellers might part with even double that amount.

    There are contrasting figures of the per capita beer consumption in Tanzania with various quarters currently putting it at between 10-12 litres. Latest available global per capita beer consumption rankings put it at 8.4 litres making the country number 44 in the world on that basis.
    According to the Barth-Haas Group, the world’s largest supplier of hop products and services, breweries in Tanzania produced 3.9 million hectolitres (390 million litres) of beer last year. It says in a recent global beer market report that about 10 million litres of branded beer were imported into the country during the one-year period.

    Those 400 million litres are equivalent to 800 million half-litre bottles that generate an annual turnover of Sh1.2 trillion for the industry. Investing that money into philanthropic causes, would see a lot of social projects such as buying desks and improving sanitation services undertaken to help uplift the currently deplorable welfare of most people especially the rural folks.

    “When other alcoholic drinks and beverages are taken into account…including local brews such as mbege, rubisi, ulanzi, komoni and the like…the booze industry is big time business in Tanzania like in many other places in the world,” says economist Honest Ngowi of Mzumbe University.
    However, beer market intelligence specialist Plato Logic Limited of UK says the branded booze industry in Tanzania is still nascent but with great potential for exponential growth.

    Figures of the two beer companies operating in the country show that branded booze produced in Tanzania amounts to almost 500 million litres annually. Tanzania Breweries (TBL), which has four plants, says it produces four million hectolitres (400 million litres or 800 million bottles).

    Serengeti Breweries (SBL), which has two plants, produces 300,000 hectolitres (30 million litres) in Dar es Salaam and 600,000 hectolitres (60 million) in Mwanza. The combined output of the two companies is therefore 490 million litres or 980 million bottles with an annual turnover of Sh1.47 trillion or Sh4 billion a day.
    Despite beer consumption being a boon to the economy, businesses and households, alcohol abuse is killing thousands of Tanzanians in their prime years. Health and medical experts fear that if the current boozing trend does not change, the lavish lifestyle will be sending people less than 40 years to an early grave than anything else in the near future.

    “Alcohol is not an ordinary commodity. Behind the scenes, alcohol is the cause of many pre-mature deaths,” says Dr Ali Mzige, a public and family health consultant. “Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for nearly 60 per cent of the illnesses across the world, including cancers of the mouth, liver and breast, heart diseases, strokes and cirrhosis,” he further notes.

    Financial analyst Fortius Rutabingwa said increased alcohol consumption is good news for beer companies although it might be a zero-sum game at a macro perspective. According to him, that is because of the accompanying potential loss of productivity when drinkers are back to work.
    Mr Rutabingwa says it is high time society addressed the problem of excessive drinking in the country. To reduce the negative consequences, he advises, booze consumption should be reduced, and the money saved invested in TBL shares or other progressive ventures.

    “In the long run it benefits all parties: greater future consumption funds, increased income due to improved productivity, more disposable income for yet more responsible booze on a sustainable basis, and of course good health,” he told The Citizen on Saturday this week.

    The TBL’s Dar es Salaam brewery, its largest in the country, has got an annual output of about 1.88 million hectolitres (188 million litres), which is about 47 per cent of the company’s total capacity. Its managing director Robin Goetzsche says that the city consumes 47 million litres produced by the plant, which is 94 million bottles.Revellers in Dar es Salaam part with Sh141 billion annually on TBL beers or Sh386 million daily. In the northern safari city of Arusha, alcohol consumers on average spend almost Sh330 million everyday on beer.

    The company’s sales and distribution manager for northern Tanzania, Mr James Bokelo, says Arusha folks consume nearly 57 per cent of the 700,000 hectolitres (70 million litres or 140 million bottles) annual output of the Arusha brewery. Total sales in Mwanza City alone are 280,000 hectolitres (28 million litres or 56 million bottles) annually that generates Sh84 billion or Sh230 million daily.
    Reported by Costantine Sebastian, Victor Karega and Polycarp Machira in Dar es Salaam and Adam Ihucha in Arusha;
     
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