The National Maize Corporation (NMC) is expanding its maize storage facilities as a result of an increase in maize production encouraged by progressive innovations by the company. NMC Chief Executive Officer Sabelo Msibi told Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Jabulani ‘Buy Cash’ Mabuza that they had since been granted land at Sigangeni to build a new silo to add to the five existing facilities around the country. NMC has so far received a record 13000MT tonnes of maize from farmers, and the figure is expected to continue as farmers were still continuing to bring their maize to company at the last count. Msibi said currently the country had two kinds of maize farmers; those who produce for own consumption and those who sold surplus produce to NMC. “Our plan is to get all farmers to become commercial maize producers. As an organization, our mandate is to ensure food security for all Emaswati; and that is why our doors are always open to farmers to either buy or sell maize to us. Further, I would like to state that in order for us as a country to grow maize sustainably and commercially, we need to introduce modern farming
methods. We are pleased to inform the nation that we have a full-fledged office that is well-resourced with experts who advise maize farmers on modern farming trends.” Msibi attributed the recent bumper harvest to such expertise, as well as getting farmers to farm solely to supply NMC. He said poverty alleviation was possible if all Emaswati worked hard and smart.
TOP 10 FARMERS WIN BIG IN NMC CEO’S AWARDS
The National Maize Corporation (NMC) has given lucrative cash incentives to its top 10 maize suppliers. These farmers grow maize solely to sell to NMC. To ensure optimum production, NMC allocates these farmers Area Farmer Development Officers (AFDOs), a service that comes at no cost to the farmer. NMC Chief Executive Officer Sabelo Msibi told the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Jabulani ‘Buy Cash’ Mabuza, that those of the farmers who exceeded certain production quantities were incentivised for their effort. “This award is called the CEO’s Awards, where we recognize the top 10 best performing farmers. This year, we went a step further, and also rewarded farmers who were found to have improved from the performance of the previous year.” To encourage more people to go into farming, NMC also created a ‘best new-comer’ category. The CEO announced that they planned to make next year’s CEO’s Awards even more exciting for farmers, explaining that the main objective was to increase maize production so that Eswatini would soon be assured of food security, a key variable to a country’s attractiveness as an investment destination for foreigners, among other things. Msibi then announced seven categories, representing massive growth of the CEO’s awards, as follows: Highest tonnage sold to NMC (Position 1-10; then 1-30 for training); Most improved winner (Position 1-3); Best new comer (Position 1-3); Champ of champs (Winner for three conservative years); Farmer with highest productivity from the top 30 (Position 1-3); Large scale category (100 hectares and above)(Position 1-3); Champion (winners for past 3 years competing against each other). The CEO proceeded to announce the names of this year’s CEO’s Awards winners in the order below: