EU GRANT WILL FUND FOUR UBOMBO PROJECTS
"BUSH clearing at Ubombo has started for 657.1ha of the Lomdashi Farmer Company."
UBOMBO Sugar Limited (USL) partnered with Swaziland Water & Agricultural Development Enterprise (SWADE) and Techno Serve to apply and secure the Multi Annual Indicative Programme (MIP) II EU grant fund. This grant is part of a wider assistance to Swaziland provided by the European Union (EU). Four projects will be implemented in the Ubombo cane area and USL is the lead partner. The projects will enable Ubombo Sugar to improve the productivity and sustainability of small and medium scale growers.
The projects will run for three years starting in November 2014 and finishing in 2017 and totalling approximately €18 million, of which €14 million, or 78%, is from the grant. The aim of the projects is to increase the area under smallholder irrigated sugarcane by 1 341 ha, and to improve yields through assisting replanting of 1 344ha of low-yielding cane. In addition, farm management and business skills in the area will be improved and about 4% of the budget is set aside to assist in improving community services in education and care points.
About 1 113 farmer households will benefit from new cane development and more farmer households will benefit from the replant programme. A revolving loan fund will be created from replanting proceeds to sustain cane supply from growers in the future. Other beneficiaries include schoolchildren and communities in the project area.
Ubombo Sugar will benefit from milling capacity utilisation. Furthermore, Ubombo’s relationship with the implementation partners and other stakeholders will be strengthened and experience will be gained in implementing and managing donor funding.
The project will result, among other things, in the improved livelihood of the beneficiaries in the surrounding communities as income generation will increase due to sugarcane proceeds from new cane development and improved cane yields. Ubombo is proud of being directly involved with a project of such magnitude that will improve the competitiveness of the sugar industry and transform people’s lives by reducing poverty in the country.
BUSH clearing at Ubombo has started for 657.1ha of the Lomdashi Farmer Company.