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FAO helps Swaziland moving towards commercial farming

FAO and the European Union have teamed up with the government of Swaziland to help over 20,000 smallholder farmers to increase the production of higher-quality food and improve their linkages with new markets. Set up in 2009, the Swaziland Agricultural Development Project (SADP) is a 5-year programme (now entering in its finale phase) with over €14 million in funding from the EU and almost € 350 000 from FAO. The project has played a key role in revitalizing agriculture in a country of 1.2 million, where over 75% of the population is employed in subsistence farming.

The main objective of SADP is to improve food security and nutrition of vulnerable communities by gradually establishing a vibrant commercial agricultural sector. Through the dissemination of good agricultural practices, the programme helps smallholders move away from subsistence farming while preserving the environment and reducing pressure on limited natural resources. To strengthen farmers' links to the markets, a €1 million Marketing Investment Fund has been made available. The fund has supported the growth of agri-businesses who process and market the small holder's produce.

Below are some of SAPD most significant results:

  • Reached over 20 000 farmers
  • Trained over 2 000 farmers in good agricultural practices
  • Established 800 backyard vegetable gardens for vulnerable households
  • Established 60 youths groups reaching 2 250 youngsters
  • Improved infrastructure in the livestock sector, water management and government services
  • Established € 1 million Marketing Investment Fund (MIF)
  • Established the Swaziland Livestock Identification and Traceability System (SLITS)
  • Contributed to a National Agricultural Extension Policy and a National Agricultural Research Policy