NAMBoard Embarks on Country wide Farmers Vusela Exercise

The National Agricultural Marketing Board has embarked on a countrywide stakeholder engagement exercise targeting small scale farmers. The past 18 months has been challenging as it has been difficult to secure physical meetings with a group of farmers, the primary stakeholder in agribusiness. This was mainly due to the outbreak of the corona virus and the implementation of the covid19 regulations thereof. All other stakeholder meetings have been able to proceed virtually and deliberations on how to ensure effective operations of all value chains have successfully continued. 

The first meeting was hosted at Sdemane Farm, last week, bringing together farmers in the Hhohho South region for consultative discussions. There are eight scheduled farmer meetings in total (2 per region) and the second one is billed for Lubombo region this week. 

More than 100 farmers participated in the first meeting, where NAMBoard made presentations on farmer payments, market demands (domestic and export), quality standards, rejection procedures, collections and nursery processes. Farmers who were part of the engagement, presented their challenges, while also proposing solutions. The farmers said that due to covid, they had disintegrated, as each farmer has been forced to focus on their personal survival with less peer-to-peer interactions. Farmers proposed that NAMBoard continues to champion gatherings that will bring them together to share information that addresses the various challenges they face. They also proposed that NAMBoard issues financial statements and make sure to process payments on set dates every month in order to increase efficiency.

 

 

 

 

Melusi Zox Dlamini, NAMBoard Communications Officer said it was through stakeholder engagements that solutions to existing local challenges could be provided for and opportunities identified for the benefit of the sector. “It has become apparent that stakeholder engagement is critical towards imparting the understanding of our mandate; what NAMBoard can realistically deliver and to dispel perceptions. Our strategic plan has affirmed the need to engage and communicate with our stakeholders to ensure the successful achievement of food security in Eswatini within the next five years. We acknowledge challenges encountered amidst the exponential growth in fresh produce production in the country. Farmer aggregation still remains a challenge in the vegetable production sector as a number of farmers are producing but lack proper access to markets. In this regard, we encourage farmers to make use of NOLWATI (Agricultural Marketing Information System).’’

The Communications Officer also expressed satisfaction with the first meeting, noting that it provided context on the responsibilities of farmers and market extension officers, while also clarifying certain functions of the parastatal in the chain of helping farmers grow.

The National Agricultural Marketing Board has initiated these consultative meetings for small scale farmers across the Kingdom with the aim of improving stakeholder relations and advancing the strategic outcomes of all scheduled products.  

Farmers are invited to register for these scheduled meetings according to their region and via sms with the respective market extension officers. The calendar, with dates and times can be viewed on the National Agricultural Marketing Board website and social media pages. All meetings shall commence at 0900am and farmers are urged to keep time.

JOB SCAMMER ALERT!!!

It has been brought to our attention that unauthorised individuals are falsely using the company name to fraudulently source monetary gain from job seekers. NAMBoard does not accept any amounts from job seekers for job placements and management has no knowledge of these individuals. We want to take this opportunity to caution the public of recruitment fraud, and request that they make a point to verify with our HR Office at our Head Office should they be presented with an opportunity for employment at NAMBoard.

 

Melusi Zox Dlamini

Communications Officer