Farmers are expected to contribute 35% with government contributing the 65% balance.
By Phesheya Mkhonta
Government has pledged to contribute 65% of farming inputs costs as a subsidy to farmers this year. Farmers are expected to contribute the remaining 35% of the cost and they can pay for a maximum of up to 3 hectares (3ha) per farmer.
In preparation for the upcoming ploughing season, the Government of Eswatini has, through the Ministry of Agriculture, announced that farmers will this year get farming inputs at higher subsidized rates. The Ministry, through the National Maize Corporation (NMC), shall be responsible for the management of the program. The announcement was made by the Honorable Minister for Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza, through an official press statement.
The Minister further added that it was not an easy task for government to provide this subsidy, compared to other years, due to the ever-escalating prices in the farming inputs markets as well as the recent increase in fuel prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, among other factors.
The average projected cost for the packages is approximately E14 000 for maize, E12 000 for beans and E7 000 for sorghum. These packages will cover an area equivalent to one hectare. The subsidy scheme will run from August 2022 to the end of October 2022.
The average price breakdown is as follows:
- Maize E4900 (Farmer contribution) and E9100 (By Government)
- Beans: E4200 (Farmer contribution) and E7800 (By Government)
- Sorghum: E2450 (Farmer contribution) and E4550 (By Government)
- Tractor Hire: E300 per hour (Up from E270/hr due to fuel increase.)