Bill and market shifts pose a threat to Ugandan homegrown beverages.

Ugandan lawmakers are thinking of outlawing the manufacturing of a well-known alcoholic beverage at home. People like the Ndyanabo family would be impacted by the bill under consideration. Girino Ndyanabo’s family gets together around a hole in the ground where bananas have been placed to ripen at least once a week. After peeling the bananas, the family places them in a boat-shaped wooden container. With bare feet, the father enters. After pressing out the sweet banana juice, it is filtered. He adds sorghum to this. After that, the juice is allowed to ferment for up to a day. The juice turns into an alcoholic beverage through this procedure.

The end product is a domestic beverage known as tonto, or tontomera, in Uganda. This name characterizes the clumsy motions of a drunkard. Toloto is well-known in Uganda. Everyone drinks it, including workers and officials. Singers make songs about it. Those running for office have a drink with the electorate. Tonto gatherings mark the conclusion of customary ceremonies at dusk. Nonetheless, the existing method of producing tonto is under jeopardy. More people are increasingly consuming inexpensive beer in bottles. Regulations to reduce the risks from tainted home brews are what health experts seek. Additionally, the production and sale of the beverage provide tax revenue for the authorities.

Alcohol production and sales regulations are the focus of a measure currently pending in the national assembly. It would turn the actions of tonto home brewers into a criminal offense. It would also make it illegal for the nation of East Africa to produce other customary home brews. However, a more pressing worry for farmers is that not enough new varieties of banana juice are being planted to meet demand for the beverage. An alternative variety of banana is being planted by more growers. This kind is boiled and consumed as matooke, a well-known meal. In Mbarara’s western district, Girino Ndyanabo farms. When he was a young child in the 1970s, he had his first encounter with tonto. He claimed that of the cultivars he uses to make tonto, he just has a few plants remaining.

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