Zambian Breweries ups excise tax payments to govt

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Cassava chips in Luapula destined for Zambian Breweries’ Eagle Lager.

Zambian Breweries has made a whopping K22.6 million in excise duty to the Government on its affordable Eagle Lager in the last year, more than the previous two years put together, shareholders were told at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) held on March 29 at the Southern Sun Hotel in Lusaka. .

The growth in excise duty paid demonstrates the effectiveness of Government’s decision to scale down the excise tax on cassava-based beer from 20% to 10%, on the back of increased cassava uptake by the local brewer.

In 2014, Zambian Breweries paid K6.6 million in excise tax to the government on its Eagle Lager. That rose to K7.8 million in 2015, K13 million and K22.6 million in 2017, said Zambian Breweries outgoing finance director Faith Mukutu.

The soaring production of Zambian Breweries’ affordable Eagle Lager has been spurred by the favorable excise rate of 10 percent on cassava-based beer when compared to 20 percent excise rate that was based on a lower content of the crop’s input.

In its quest to promote national prosperity through its value chain, the brewer has embarked on local sourcing of key agriculture products such as cassava.

Since the start of the company’s initiative in 2016, the brewing giant, along with its partners, has ventured into an outgrower scheme that started with just 1,000 small-scale farmers in Luapula Province. The project now provides a market and livelihoods for more than 4,000 small-scale farmers, stretching into Kasama district, and the project is poised to reach 5,000 small-scale farmers by the end of the year.

Zambian Breweries’ country director Jose Moran says Eagle Lager was a high-flying and progressive brand that contributed to the national treasury and positively impacted the lives of small-scale farmers in Luapula Province and Kasama District.

“Zambian Breweries has seen cassava’s potential to contribute to the economy, as witnessed by the progressive growth in excise tax paid on Eagle Lager between 2014 and 2017,” he said.

Moran said the company was committed to enhancing value addition through enhancing the livelihoods of those involved in Zambian Breweries’ value chain.

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