Swaziland is located in southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa. The country’s total land area is 17,364 sq km. In comparison, Swaziland is slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey in the U.S., and about the size of Kuwait. The country’s climate varies from tropical to near temperate. Of the total land area, just over 10 percent is utilized for cultivated crops, with less than one percent of the total area dedicated to permanent crops such as fruit- and nut-bearing trees. Environmental issues include limited potable water, overgrazing, soil nutrient mining and soil erosion. Swaziland’s population is approximately 1.3 million, with 75 percent of the population living in rural areas. In this small, landlocked country, subsistence agriculture occupies approximately 70 percent of the population, with that same number living in poverty. Swaziland is heavily dependent on South Africa, from which it receives more than 90 percent of its imports and to which it sends 60 percent of its exports. Due to this fact, the country’s currency and its related value are heavily tied to the South African rand, with Swaziland’s monetary policy primarily determined by South Africa. With an estimated 40 percent unemployment rate, Swaziland's need to increase the number and size of small and medium enterprises and attract foreign direct investment is acute. Adding to these pressures, more than one-fourth of the population required emergency food aid in 2006-07 because of drought, and more than one-quarter of the adult population has been infected by HIV/AIDS. Agricultural products from Swaziland include sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts and livestock. The East and Southern Africa Division is responsible for IFDC activities in Swaziland.
Recent IFDC Projects in Swaziland
- COMESA Regional Agricultural Inputs Program (COMRAP), 2010-2011
COMRAP responded to rising food prices by increasing agricultural productivity through improved access to finance, training, fertilizer and seeds. Over the course of its implementation, the project targeted three million smallholder farmers in Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. COMRAP was implemented by the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA).
DONOR: The European Union Food Facility Program