Mbabane: Minister of Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza and Minister of Economic Planning and Development Dr. Thambo Gina has today officially received funding support worth about E182 million from the European Union set to go towards the Eswatini Livestock Value Chain Development Program.
Mabuza and Gina joined European Union Ambassador Esmeralda Aragones in an official handover ceremony for the funding earlier on Monday. The Eswatini Livestock Value Chain Development Program aims at creating economic opportunities for smallholder farmers, particularly women and the youth through strengthening the livestock value chain.
Minister Mabuza expressed profound gratitude to the EU for this kind gesture that is being extended to the Kingdom. Mabuza said the agriculture sector is at the center of the economic turn-around strategy of the country and requires substantial capital investment to facilitate growth.
“The Livestock Value Chain Development Project will go a long way towards helping our farming community to realize its goals of improved production and productivity, particularly in the livestock sub-sector.” Mabuza said.
Minister Gina said the Program will make significant contributions towards economic growth and job creation, poverty reduction, gender equality and women empowerment. It will also help the country fully take advantage of market opportunities presented by trade agreements like the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Ambassador Aragones said the EU has not just been a financier to the agricultural sector in Eswatini but a dedicated development partner. “We note the significant role played by agriculture in improving the livelihoods of rural communities.”