Delegation of the European Union to Eswatini

Ululations as EU hands over top range agricultural assets

28/06/2018 - 11:43
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Market vendors danced and ululated as EU Ambassador to Eswatini, Esmeralda Hernandez Aragones, handed over a state-of-the-art fruits and vegetables cold store at Mahlanya market as well as seven vehicles – all funded by the European Union – to help support the implementation of the High Value Crops and Horticulture Project (HVCHP) which seeks to enhance the supply of high quality fresh produce in the country.

The assets, worth about E4 million in total, were handed over to two Cabinet Ministers – the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Prince Hlangusemphi and the Minister of Agriculture, Moses Vilakati on 27 June 2018.

Also present during the occasion held at National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBoard) near Matsapha, was the local Member of Parliament, Marwick Khumalo, local traditional authorities as well as the beneficiaries who included fruit and vegetable vendors who do business at Mahlanya market, one of Eswatini's oldest fruit and vegetable markets. Some of the beneficiaries could not help but danced and ululated as the Ambassador handed over the assets.

Handing over the assets, Ambassador Aragones said the EU was happy and proud to support projects such as the High Value Crop and Horticulture Project which aim at poverty reduction.

She said the state-of-the-art cold store will help prolong the shelf life of perishable products thus reducing losses which the market vendors were incurring on a daily basis.

Ambassador Aragones said the vehicles, on the other hand, will ensure efficiency in the transportation of farmers' produce. The vehicles include two refrigerated trucks.

The Ambassador hoped these assets will go a long way in ensuring growth for the horticulture sector in Eswatini.

Receiving the assets, the two Ministers both conveyed the country's appreciation to the EU for this support which they said will help improve agriculture in the Kingdom. Both Ministers noted that the EU was the major donor in the Kingdom of Eswatini and said the handover of these assets was another demonstration of such support.

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