By Khulile Thwala
The Minister of Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza has revealed that there are plans underway to develop an abattoir for pigs.
This is to improve the piggery industry in Eswatini and also empower piggery farmers. He mentioned this during a Senate portfolio committee sitting at Parliament where the assigned committee was debating the 2023/24 budget. Mabuza also shared that the ministry’s officials were engaging communities in the four regions of the country to capacitate them on how to profitably produce pigs.
This follows concerns from senators that the price of the animal’s feed was now inflated yet piggery farmers maintained the same prices as before. This they said was resulting in them making losses. Meanwhile, the price of greenhouses and tunnels was also a subject for conversation at the portfolio debate on Friday as Senator Busi Dlamini decried the expense of them, yet they are a necessity to combat climate
According to Dlamini, the government should meet farmers halfway in ensuring they attain greenhouses to produce good quality crops.
“I am a farmer myself and at this rate, purchasing a greenhouse seems like a pipe dream because of how expensive they are. They retail for as much as E200 000, which for the average farmer, is way too expensive,” said the senator.
She pleaded with the ministry to offer alternative solutions to this matter in order to ensure sustainable food production in the country. In response, the minister of Agriculture urged Emaswati to seek financial assistance from the government collectively rather than individually if they wanted to purchase these greenhouses.
This he said was because the government could not afford to buy these houses for individuals because that would result in over-expenditure, yet if they wanted to access financing for such they ought to do it in groups of at least 10 farmers.