Your Royal Highnesses


Cabinet Ministers,

Regional Administrator,

Members of both Houses of Parliament,

Mayor of Manzini City

Senior Government officials

Produce Marketing Association Representative


Distinguished speakers

Invited guests

Ladies and Gentlemen


I am honoured join you here today for the official opening of the Cold Chain Summit. May I from the onset, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, welcome all our international guests and visitors to our beautiful Kingdom and to wish you a pleasant stay.  

This inaugural cold chain summit could not have come at a better time than now following the pronouncement by His Majesty the King and the Nation at Sibaya that agriculture should be one of the fundamental vehicles to revive the country’s economy. As a result, agriculture and agro-processing were highlighted as key growth sectors for economic renewal in the Government Strategic Roadmap.

It is for this reason that His Majesty’s Government considers this event to be of enormous significance and extremely pivotal in stimulating the objectives of the Strategic Roadmap towards improving the country’s economy and ensuring that the country attains Vision 2022.

Since the agribusiness sector has been earmarked as one of the key strategic sectors for growing the economy, we have charged the Ministry of Agriculture with ensuring that it fully embraces a commercial approach across the value chain and with export markets, including beef, goats, poultry, dairy and horticulture sectors.

The Ministry is also tasked with stimulating the necessary vibrancy to create much needed jobs through agriculture, drive the development of upstream and downstream economic activities as well as agro processing.

The programme set for the two days of this summit is a clear demonstration that when we get agricultural processes right, a myriad of industries will benefit, and communities, towns, and in extension, the country will see renewed economic activity, which is essential at this time of sluggish economic growth. 

I am reliably informed that in a properly functioning agribusiness, one farmer has the capacity to hire at least 10 people per annum. We have no reason to doubt that this can be achieved in our country, and Government, in collaboration with our partners, continues to accelerate job creation initiatives especially through agriculture. The aim is to generate over 20,000 jobs in this sector within the next three years through downstream activities such as LUSIP 1 and LUSIP 2, and the small to medium Earth Dams project which, collectively, shall convert over 4500 hectares of land to be under irrigation for commercial production of non sugar crops.

It has already been indicated that the Dairy industry is set for exponential growth as the intention is to increase the volume of milk produced in the country to over one hundred thousand litres per annum. Growth is expected in other fresh products such as beef, fish and fruits. May I encourage farmers to follow good cold chain management practices and standards in all operations in order to attain a good shelf life for their produce and successfully penetrate export markets, ensuring sustainability and a reliable income.

Government has identified key groups for specific intervention in stimulating economic growth across all sectors in accordance with the Strategic Roadmap.

These include the youth and women, which I note with excitement that they have been included and given specific attention in your programme. We need all hands on deck, so to speak, including the inclusion of people living with disability in these ventures.

I am certain that the agricultural commercialisation initiatives will feed into agro processing which relies heavily on outputs from the agriculture sector to create value upstream, thus generating money from the domestic market and realising income from exports while positively increasing the balance of trade.

It is encouraging to note that financial institutions have contributed a significant amount towards meeting the costs of this conference. They have also lined up a series of packages to finance the initiatives that will come out of this summit. This is a most welcome and commendable intervention by our financial sector and I hope this marks a new era for farmers who will from now on have increased access to business finance. It is apparent that all partners along the value chain, including inputs suppliers, transport providers, freight forwarders, traders and suppliers of technology solutions will benefit from increased funding options.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I take this opportunity to welcome our new partners, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). Your role in working in collaboration with NAMBoard, through your global networks, to strengthen the practices and technologies of local agribusiness are well documented and appreciated.

I am confident that the relationship that has been forged will help the country stay relevant in this sector and help grow our agricultural economy significantly and quicker.

To our most important stakeholder, the farmers, use this opportunity availed to you by this summit to network with peers, get expert advice and make valuable connections to service providers and customers. I am looking forward to great stories of profitable relationships forged during these intense two days.

May I once again take this opportunity to recognise and thank the organisers of this summit for a job well done. I believe this is the beginning of a new dawn for the local agriculture sector, which remains a key driver to achieving our national goals as envisaged by the Government Strategic Roadmap and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

I look forward to a fruitful summit and will await the report of outcomes, with the hope that it will deliver good news of enhanced business relationships and firm commitments that will elevate the sector.

On behalf of His Majesty’s Government, I now declare the inaugural Cold Chain Summit in Eswatini officially open.

Thank you. May God bless us all.

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