The report quantifies the economic impacts of ESWADE’s agricultural development projects in Eswatini to determine the agency’s effectiveness value to the Eswatini economy.

The study finds that overall, ESWADE is currently providing a growing social and economic utility for the population residing in the project areas through agriculture extensification. This means, through ESWADE, Eswatini has been able to increase total land under cultivation, which in turn has contributed to growth in agriculture production. The results show that the GoE has spent E4.6 billion financing ESWADE. The LUSIP and KDDP projects have in the review period returned E3.7 billion on the investment made.

The study reveals that, because of the work of ESWADE, smallholder producers now add about E422 million (2017) worth of GDP to Eswatini, annually in the past five years preceding 2017 – suggesting that the country is making good progress in positioning smallholders to be at the forefront of agricultural production, as per the aspirations of the revised NDS, PRSAP, CASP, and NFSP. These findings are relevant to policymakers, administrators of ESWADE, funders of agricultural development projects in Eswatini including the country’s development partners because they demonstrate that agricultural development projects in Eswatini have the potential to empower the thousands of rural dwellers to escape poverty. At the very least, the results show that Eswatini’s poverty reduction strategy and agricultural policies are beginning to declare some of the expected dividends.

As part of the recommendations, ESEPARC emphasises that the quick gains received through extensification can only take the ESWADE and the country so far. The next lap is about intensification, which is about increasing the productivity (output per unit of input) and the competitiveness of smallholder agriculture in the project areas. It’s about getting the most value out of every activity and engaging in value addition for completing the various agriculture value chains.

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