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Indian agricultural support transforms Swazi farmers – Minister

Some Swazi farmers have doubled their yield after using lime and fertilizer obtained with the assistance of India, Agriculture Minister Moses Vilakati said on Wednesday.The minister is currently in the Indian capital New Delhi where he is accompanying King Mswati III for the 12th CII-Exim Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership.

Vilakati said in a statement that farmers who previously yielded four tonnes of maize per hectare now get eight tonnes of maize per hectare due to the fertilizer that the Swaziland government gives to farmers through a subsidy programme.

The minister said India could outsource its agriculture production to Africa, especially now that focus was on agro-processing and value addition.

In 2013 the Exim Bank of India granted Swaziland a US$37-million loan that was used to purchase 100 tractors and inputs to improve farming and ultimately food security in the country.

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