Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP) Smallholder Seed Production Field Day - Swaziland
13 June 2012

The FANRPAN HaSSP field day was held on the 6th of June 2012 at Siphofaneni under the SWADE scheme. The field day was attended by over 150 participants form different stakeholder groups such as: government officials, private sector, NGOs, researchers, farmers' organizations and smallholder seed farmers. Notable officials were the Director of Agriculture Extension, District Administrator and legal officers from the Ministry of Justice.

The purpose of the field day was to showcase the smallholder seed production fields, share experiences and agronomic production knowledge.

The field day was organized by the HaSSP project implementing partners namely SWADE, SQCS and the FANRPAN Node (CANGO).

A guided field tour of the sugarbeans seed crop was conducted at Siphofaneni (owned by Imbali yaMadlenya group of farmers). The sugarbeans variety under six hectares had excellent pod formation giving prospects for a higher yield potential in the region of 2mt per hectare. The chairperson of the smallholder group of seed producers presented information on how they managed the seed crop from land preparation, fertilizer application, planting, irrigating, weeding and spraying against pests and diseases. Mr Robert Mabundza assisted him during the highly informative question and answer session.

The keynote address was presented by Mr George Ndlangamandla (Director Agriculture Extension). He mentioned that community seed production provides improved access to good quality seed at affordable prices. This will also benefit the poor Swazi farmers who cannot afford to buy expensive seed every season. This results in improved crop yields and consequently food and nutrition security.

Other speakers who endorsed their support for the smallholder seed project were: Programme Director - SWADE, the District Administrator, Seed Company representative, senior extension officer and Mr C. Mthethwa (Head of Department SQCS). All speakers highlighted the positive impact the project was likely to make on the lives of the farmers and the community at large in terms of achieving food and nutrition security as well as profitability.

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