JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa, founder of the PanAfrican Tobacco Group, has announced the forthcoming official opening of Meridian Tobacco Company (MTC) factory, together with its farmer development program, and food crop and forestry improvement, scheduled for May 2017. The project comprising the USD8 million factory, USD10 million, leaf-grower program, and USD2 million food crops and forestry development, have been operational since 2015/2016. MTC factory directly employs 352 workers and empowers 15,000 small farmers that supply the facility. An additional 1,600 workers and small businesses such as transporters expand the workforce seasonally.
Reflecting on the investment climate in Uganda, Ayabatwa stated: "My relationship with Uganda goes back two decades. Our partnership with the authorities and people of Uganda has always been excellent. This investment in northern Uganda is further strengthening our collaborative efforts with communities and government to improve lives. Together we are creating greater employment opportunities, improving agricultural practices, enhancing food security, supporting small businesses, and taking care of the environment."
Ayabatwa highlighted the corporate social responsibility imbedded in the project: "In 2016 we trained farmers and community leaders in good agricultural practices in crops other than tobacco to enhance food security. We trained some 350 farmer/leaders on improving yields of over 15 different crops. Equally important is our reforestation effort. In 2016, we distributed 1,5 million of tree seedlings to communities thus supporting preservation and expansion of indigenous forest reserves. We are very pleased with our partnership and outcomes."
PTG's senior adviser, David Himbara, concurred: "A good corporate citizen is never about profit only but also social responsibility. MTC is a good example of this mindset. Based on the average Ugandan family of 5, MTC's workforce and farmers totaling 15,352 are supporting 76,760 people. Over 1,600 additional seasonal workers and small businesses such as transporters increase the number considerably. MTC is also one the largest taxpayers in northern Uganda. Clearly, MTC is a great corporate citizen of Uganda."
Highly anticipated guests of honour from central government, Arua District, and community leaders to officially open the new facility will be shortly announced.
SOURCE Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa