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The tractor-hire service was created basically to provide mechanical power to Swazi farmers. It began as a pilot project aimed at demonstrating the benefits of mechanised farming and timely and deep tillage principles with regards to improving the infiltration of water from precipitation and good agricultural practices in increasing the yield of particularly maize.  The Mechanization Section which coordinates the service provision was established under the Rural Development  Areas  Programme at four Pilot sites which are:- Ludzeludze (Central)  RDA, Northern RDA (eNtfonjeni ), Mahlangatsha RDA and Southern RDA in Hlatikhulu.   This project was meant to be managed by government for a few years after which it was to be taken over by farmers and run as a business for income generation and sustainability of the service. 

The Objectives

  • Demonstrate to farmers, particularly SNL farmers,  the advantages of deep ploughing using tractor-drawn implements  against  the traditional ox-drawn  implements
  • Demonstrate the advantages of timely ploughing (early and winter ploughing) which could not be achieved using oxen because of their  poor (too weak) state following the winter dry period to be used for  winter ploughing and early season ploughing. 
  • To provide other services like harvest haulage from fields  to minimise insect pest and mould infestation which is associated  with field drying
  • To provide  an outreach programme for the training of farmers owning tractor on proper maintenance of tractors and implements and tractor operators on the setting, use  and proper care of the tractor and implements 

Of Note:

Project initiated with the aim of handing it over to a group of farmers or interested individuals or companies who are expected to continue providing the service  to benefit the farming communities  and  as a business for purposes of income.
Currently all 17 RDAs are running the tractor-hire service programme.
The Tractor-hire service was expanded from the initial four RDAs to all the 17 RDAs in 1997 due to increased demand  for the service.   The reason for the expansion :- few oxen, shortage of household labour due to school children enrolment to schools and men going to work in South African Mines
The Tractor service provision supplemented by the Japanese Technical Assistance programme KR2  to provide assistance in the support of maize production through the provision of tractors and implements and farm inputs particularly fertilizers.  From 1997 to 2005 a total of 225 tractor were received  by the Swaziland Government for use in support of the programme.  

 
Who is eligible to apply for the service? 
• Swazi Nation Land Farmers
-  Individuals
-  Farmers Association
• Farmers on Title Deed Land (small-scale resource poor farmers,  limited extent and not encouraged)
3. Types services provided?
• Primary tillage services
- Ploughing
- Planting
- Disking
• Haulage services
- Transport of harvest
- Transport of construction materials; River sand and poles  
4. How to access service?
The obtainable through: -
• Tractor-pool Supervisor (Government Officer dedicated to the tractor-hire service  provision) at the RDA
• Area Marshals (individuals elected by community at area level to facilitate access to service
• Regional Extension Office (Where necessary)  
Group requests for the service are encouraged as it ensures minimum costs by reducing travel time between fields and areas, improved efficiency and better management (easy to monitor and coordinate service provision, speedy delivery of service
The Tractor-pool Supervisor facilitates the election of the Marshal and updates communities of new development at the start of each planting season.
5. Where and how do I apply for the service?
• The individual or the Marshal (on behalf of the specific community) approaches to the nearest RDA or Regional Extension Office’s  to request for the particular service  for his/her  community.
6. When can I apply for the service?
• Any time of the year as a need for the service arise.

7. How much does it cost to obtain the service?
Different user fees are charged per service and these are announced every year at the start of the planting season or whenever necessary in case there are changes.
The continuation of the service by Government is very costly in terms of financial and physical resources. The tractor-hire charge does not take into account the cost of providing the service  and  as a result it is not efficient

9. Where can I get more information?
Please contact:
Postal Address Physical Address
i) The Regional Extension Offices  (all Regions) 
ii) Mechanization Section (Ludzeludze RDA) 
iii) Directorate of agriculture and Extension ( 
        Ministry of Agriculture Head Quarters
            P. O. Box 162        
              Mbabane

Tel.: (268) 24042731-9
Fax: (268) 24041733
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 iv) The Regional Extension Offices  (all Regions) 
v) Mechanization Section (Ludzeludze RDA) 

vi) Directorate of agriculture and Extension
               Ministry of Agriculture Head Quarters
            Corner Sozisa and Mlilo Road (opposite                                             
          Mbabane Main Fire Station)
                       Mbabane

 
 

 

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