Publication: Priorities for the Development of Smallholder Agriculture in Swaziland

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World Bank
The purpose of this policy note is to contribute to an understanding of the factors that combine to constrain the development of smallholder agriculture in Swaziland. It seeks to shed light on why, despite being well-endowed in land and water resources, and despite having a climate that is generally favorable for the production of crops and livestock, Swaziland is obliged to import substantial amounts of food to feed the population. Also, why, in spite of the significant investments that have made in the agricultural sector and in spite of the extensive farming experience of the 70 percent of the population that lives off the land, smallholder farm productivity and production have been declining over time. Finally, the policy notes identify priority areas where strategic interventions are needed to turn things around and get smallholder agriculture going as a driver of growth and poverty reduction. This note provides an overview of smallholder agriculture in Swaziland, identifes constraints that may be contributing to poor performance in the smallholder sector, and evaluates technological options that could improve productivity of smallholder farmers. In addition, it summarizes the findings of a recent review of public spending on agriculture, undertaken to identify trends and patterns in agricultural spending over the last five years and to determine whether the government's budget allocations have been effective in supporting the intended development of smallholder agriculture. After addressing these questions, the policy note points to entry points where future government interventions could help to reverse the current negative trends.
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World Bank. 2011. Priorities for the Development of Smallholder Agriculture in Swaziland. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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