By Majaha Nkonyane | 2018-04-16
Small Enterprise Development Company (SEDCO) and World vision Swaziland have joined hands in empowering local farmers.
This was through the Southern Africa Livelihoods Project (SALP) training that was hosted in Manzini.
“The Southern Africa Livelihoods Project (SALP) is being implemented against a background of reduced food security and erosion of households’ assets and safety nets as a result of the El Nino drought experienced in the 2015-16 growing season. Many households had to rely on emergency assistance, including food, and lost production capacity of their land and animals that were an integral part of their food security system,” SEDCO stakeholder manager Mxolisi Dlamini said.
The project, according to Dlamini, was meant to increase and diversify levels of control and productivity among 507 households and farmers assuming five member households and vulnerable small-holder farmers in Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa over the next two years.
This will be done through implementation of interventions geared towards shifting farmer production from subsistence level to greater market oriented production. The programme is funded by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as a pilot project assisting three countries at once and constant monitoring shall be a prerequisite.
“SALP will target the development of four local value chains, namely: vegetables, piggery, indigenous chicken and beekeeping. All farmers have adequate infrastructure, income sources for households diversified at their disposal,” he said. It was further noted that SEDCO being a partner to World Vision Swaziland, shall focus mainly on provision of coaching and mentoring as well as training on LVCD. The programme is also meant to add value to products, improve inclusive access to financial services, improve business practices and behaviours and improve access to markets.
The project targets small-holder farmers in vegetable production, piggery, indigenous poultry and beekeeping and is inclusive of people living with disabilities (PLWD), women and men.
Furthermore, the project does not provide input grants but rather capacity building and infrastructural development.
Farmers shall be referred to financial institutions for financing and training on financial literacy.
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