Gov Feeds

SPEECH

 

BY

 

THE HONOURABLE MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE,

 

ON THE OCCASION OF

 

LOAN GUARANTEE SIGNING CEREMONY

 

FOR

 

NEDBANK & AFD

 

17THAPRIL 2019


 

Master of Ceremonies

Honourable Ministers

Deployment Partners

Government Officials

Members of Parliament

Distinguished Guests

ESWADE and NAMBoard Staff

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

Because agriculture remains a significant contributor to economic growth, The ENAIP was identified as a critical initiative to continuously drive growth for the Eswatini economy.The Eswatini National Agricultural Investment Plan (ENAIP) is aimed at:

(i) Increasing growth of agricultural productivity and production and

(ii) Diversification of agricultural production and overall consumption. This plan is based on agricultural investments for the period 2015-2025.

Program Director, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Kingdom of Eswatini has fully embraced the 11th EDF National Indicative Programme (NIP) 2014-2020 for co-operation between the Kingdom of Eswatini and European Union (EU).

I am delighted that one of the focal sectors in the 11th EDF NIP is on Agriculture with emphasis on food security.

The EU’s intervention in this sector seeks to address the institutional, production and marketingchallenges in the agriculture sector.

The Ministry is currently implementing two projects under the 11th EDF i.e. The High Value Crop &Horticulture Project(HVCHP) and the Water Harvesting Small & Medium Dams Project (WHDP). There is also a livestock project currently in the pipeline.

These projects are geared towards reducing poverty by assisting communitieswith production &produce marketing.

Communities would not be able to produce without funding hence the partnership between NEDBANK and The French Development Agency (AFD) will go a long way in facilitating access to funding for farmers in the projects implemented by the Ministry under the 11th EDF.

Not only will the partnership we are to witness today facilitate access to funding for farmers, but it will also benefit SMMEs in sectors other than Agriculture, which are also largely are as a result of the robust agri industry.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Finance for making it possible for International Financial Institutions like AFD to partner with local financial institutions like NEDBANK and hope that the relationship between the two institutions will bear fruits that will transform SMMEs and ultimately the economy of the country.

Allow me again Programme Director to applaud the Ministries two parastatals - ESWADE and NAMBoard, who are implementing the HVCHP for their tireless efforts in working towards achieving a food secure nation. As their parent Ministry, we pledge continued support as they both deliver on their mandates.

In conclusion, I would like to thank my colleagues for gracing this event (Minister for Economic Planning& Development, Minister for Commerce Industry and Trade and Minister for Finance) and I hope the partnership we are about to witnesswill help transform the economy of the country. With that, I bless the signing of the Loan Guarantee between the AFD and NEDBank.

I thank you all and may God bless us all.

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