Eswatini smallholder farmers benefit from EU support

26/08/2021 - 13:01
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More than 5 700 individual smallholder farmers in Eswatini, with a direct impact to thousands of rural households, have benefitted from European Union financed programmes since 2006 thus helping to contribute to poverty alleviation efforts in the country.

EU Chargé d’affaires, Robert Adam, said this on 26 August 2021 at the Eswatini National Agricultural Union (ESNAU) 2021 Annual Policy Conference, co-funded by the EU, which was held at Happy Valley Hotel at Ezulwini.

In his speech, Adam emphasized that this EU support was underpinned by the shared values of partnership between Eswatini and the EU which are based on democracy, rule of law and the respect for human rights.

“It is, therefore, on this premise that I take this opportunity to reiterate our call for alignment to international human rights commitments and obligations which Eswatini is a signatory to. On the same vein, we also call for justice to be given space to independently and transparently investigate the recent political events in the country which resulted in the loss of life, damage to property and disruption of livelihoods,” said Adam.

He also expressed serious concern at recent media reports suggesting power struggles and downright corruption within the agricultural sector, something which Adam said threatened to undermine and reverse the gains already made towards poverty alleviation.

“That is why we reiterate our call for justice to prevail in these issues,” he said.

Further explaining the EU’s involvement in the agricultural sector in Eswatini, Adam said the ultimate aim was to achieve zero hunger, poverty reduction and job creation whilst ensuring a sustainable environment in line with the EU green deal.

“Going forward, the EU is still committed to supporting the agricultural value chains in Eswatini under the 2021 – 2027 EU budgetary cycle where green economy, development of human capital focused on the youth and good governance underpinned by digitization have been jointly identified,” he said.

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