By Sibusiso Dlamini | 2019-12-08
ELEVEN tons of potato seed have been exported to Mozambique by Eswatini.
The seed potato production is a project which is a partnership between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Kingdom of Eswatini.
This was revealed by the Ambassador Jeremy Liang during the seed potato production project handover and fruit tree production closing ceremony held at the Mphophoma Conference Centre auditorium yesterday.
The ambassador said through introducing new technology, establishing facilities, procuring equipment and conducting capacity building, the project had managed to establish the whole seed supply system which can cater for the entire country.
“This year, the production quantity of all generation seed potatoes reaches a new high at 550 tons which can be planted over 300 hectares and covers 100 per cent of Emaswati’s farmers demand, and from this seeds, the kingdom will be able to increase the tonnage of locally produced table potato seeds and reduce imports by 6 000 tons.
It is worth mentioning that with the certification system and proper storage facility and management, the quality of seed is at a high standard and can be supplied year-round.
“The project exported 11 tons of seeds to the neighbouring Mozambique this year,” he said.
The seed potato production project was launched in 2013 and its main objective is to produce and supply 4 000 tissue culture seedlings and 540 tons of high quality G0 – G4 seed potatoes annually in the Kingdom of Eswatini.
Representing the government was Minister of Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza who thanked the Taiwan government for their continued support to Eswatini.
“It is really a great privilege and an honour for us as Emaswati to have this kind of opportunity where state-of-the- art equipment and facilities such as high technical laboratories, nurseries, greenhouses, pack-houses, just to mention a few, have been established to improve our agricultural system.
In addition to that, we have also had the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with experts from this first world country, and I hope our technical team have grasped as much skills as needed to sustain both the production of the seed potato and fruit tree as we transform them into national programmes.
It also gives me great pleasure to mention that the Kingdom of Eswatini is one of the few countries in Africa that have a fully established national seed potato system and we are very grateful for this rare innovation in our agricultural sector,” said the minister.
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