SHARP PRODUCTION INCREASES EXPECTED IN AGRICULTURE

SHARP PRODUCTION INCREASES EXPECTED IN AGRICULTURE

Government has been lauded for continuing to prioritise agriculture, which has resulted in a steady increase
in production over the past five years. Namboard Chief Executive Officer Siphephiso Dlamini has said the sector
was projected to record sharp increases in production in the next five months, owing to resources made available by government. Speaking during the Eswatini–Taiwan Business Forum held at the Royal Swazi recently, Dlamini said there was a deliberate effort from government to prioritise agriculture in a bid to grow the economy. Dlamini said government and its partners had invested in dams and construction of reservoirs, as well as availed vast tracts of
land for agriculture in the next five years. Over 800 hectares will be under production by the end of 2019. Most of the agricultural produce mainly targets the export market. Dlamini further submitted that currently the agriculture sector was mainly composed of primary production and less value-added products. The CEO said private producers
of fresh produce and processed commodities were actively seeking buyers in export markets. Dlamini encouraged the Taiwan embassy to continue supporting local farmers as doing so would grow the economy; meanwhile, Namboard would enhance market access and facilitate market linkages for farmers, processors and markets. The CEO said the kingdom of Eswatini was currently a net importer of fresh produce, mainly from the Republic of South Africa. He said over the next three years, a significant hectarage (over 1,500 ha) in new production areas would be available to product more products. Dlamini expressed gratitude to the embassy of Taiwan for availing the business opportunities to Emaswati and for supporting farmers who produce for export purposes.

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