The Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project II (LUSIP II) is a transformative initiative aimed at increasing household income, enhancing food security, and improving access to social, health, and water infrastructure for rural populations. At its core, LUSIP II seeks to elevate rural communities through access to irrigation infrastructure for commercial agricultural production. Since its implementation the project has contributed immensely to the livelihoods of communities in the Lower Usuthu, namely, Ngcamphalala, Mngometulu, Myeni and Matsenjwa chiefdoms. With the transformation of approximately 5,217 hectares of land from semi-subsistence to diversified commercial farming, the project holds the promise of prosperity for rural households in the project development area and contributes significantly to poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Central to its mission is capacity building, providing beneficiaries with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in commercial agriculture, environmental management, and improved health and sanitation. ESEPARC, has been commissioned by the Eswatini Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (EWADE) to lead the Mid-Term Review of the LUSIP II and update the project’s logical framework. The review will thoroughly evaluate the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability of the project, with an aim to identify areas of improvement and inform future project implementation. This review will not only guide the refinement and enhancement of LUSIP II but will also provide valuable insights for policymakers when implementing similar projects, helping them identify key considerations and best practices to ensure the success and sustainability of agricultural development initiatives in the country.

The Review presents a pivotal juncture in the journey towards sustainable development and poverty alleviation in rural Eswatini. It presents an opportunity to reflect on the project’s progress, celebrate its achievements, and identify areas for improvement. Through this review ESEPARC aims to ensure that LUSIP II remains relevant, effective, and responsive to the evolving needs of the communities it serves.

Active Stakeholder Participation

As we embark on this exercise, we invite the active participation of all stakeholders and beneficiaries in this evaluation through key Informant Interviews (KIIs), Focus Group Discussions, and household or farmer surveys from the 29th April 2024 to mid-June 2024. At the core of the review lies the voice of project beneficiaries – the smallholder farmers and agro-entrepreneurs and all stakeholders involved in project implementation. We extend a warm invitation to all stakeholders to collaborate with us as we embark on this assignment.

Support Sustainable Development

Your invaluable input will contribute to the broader discourse on sustainable development. It will also enrich the findings on the LUSIP II’s impact, and government’s contribution to rural development through national agricultural projects such as LUSIP II. ensuring the project remains responsive to the needs of its intended beneficiaries.