The Grant Assistance for the Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers (2KR) to Swaziland
Grant Assistance for the Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers (FY2005)
October 8, 2008
Operators participating in the training
Participants eager to listen to a lecture
Practical training was held in the cultivated land
Mechanics learning the structure by disassembling transmissions.
Participant receiving a certificate at the ceremony of the training completion. Smile comes out from his face.
The Kingdom of Swaziland, located in Sothern Africa, is a 17,400 km2 inland state (a little smaller than Shikoku) with a population of some 1.1 million. Although 30% of the working population is engaged in agriculture, there are concerns over serious food shortage due to decrease in maize production as staple food after the draughts in the last few years and shortage of labor force associated with the high AIDS prevalence rate (40%).
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in the Kingdom of Swaziland has been trying to increase the production of maize by utilizing agricultural machinery, that is, leasing tractors to small-scale farmers to tackle the labor shortage in the busy farming season and by expanding the area of farmland. However, due to the abovementioned AIDS issue, it had been difficult to secure operators who were used to handling tractors and mechanics knowledgeable of maintaining agricultural machinery. For these reasons, the machinery had not been unable to be utilized continuously.
Based on the situation, the Japanese government implemented the Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers (2KR) to Swaziland over procuring tractors, and JICS conducted the procurement management services.
In FY2003, JICS dispatched Japanese specialists to the country for the soft component (assistance on the soft side) and conducted a technical training of the Japanese-made tractors, which were highly praised by not only operators and mechanics participated in the training but also the government of Swaziland.
Following the achievement, the Swaziland government strongly requested JICS to implement technical training, as part of the 2KR in FY 2005, on Italian-made tractors which consisted of about 80% of all procured tractors in the past. JICS organized the 3-week technical training from June 23, 2008 in order to further upgrade the technical levels of operators and mechanics and to reinforce the effect of the previous training, and 32 operators and 15 mechanics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives took part in the training.
This training was implemented in cooperation with a local agent of an Italian tractor manufacturer, and the incumbent operators and mechanic at the agent served as instructors. Since all lectures and actual trainings were held in the local language (Siswati), participants could actively exchange questions and answers, and the training was quite popular among them.
Lease of tractors from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is crucial in Swaziland's agriculture that suffers from labor shortage, and organizing and developing the system for the sustainable usage of tractors are also important. After our effort to maintain and upgrade the technical levels of operators and mechanics through this training, further effective usage of the agricultural machinery is expected.
Basic Information of This Project
|Project Name||Grant Assistance for the Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers (FY2005)|
|Grant Aid Amount||109 million yen|
|Outline of the Project||Procuring tractors and operating machines in order to support the leasing services of agricultural machinery to underprivileged farmers in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Implementing the technical training as a soft component upon request from the country.|
|JICS's Role||As a procurement management agency, procuring tractors and operating machines, and implementing the fund management of the Fund on behalf of the Swaziland government.|
|Procurement Items||4-Wheel tractors, bottom plows, disk plows, ridgers, etc.|