The VFTC at Mpisi should get the four telephone lines it has applied for and be provided with Internet access and the required training to use the equipment. It decreases the cost of applying chemical fertilisers and weeding the maize plots. The introduced varieties of cowpeas, groundnuts and sweet potatoes seem to be especially popular among Swazi farmers, and should be spread as far and wide as possible.
It is recommended that the Adaptive Research and Extension establish linkages with the existing Zenzele groups and develop a system of a seed revolving fund for quicker distribution of drought resistant crop varieties. It is also recommended that the PCU establish an Expert Committee consisting of members from MOF, Central Bank, SDSB, MOAC and CANGO to: i assess the performance of existing micro-finance institutions, evolve accreditation criteria and develop systems and procedures to start a refinance window for these institutions; and ii review the subsidiary loan agreement to address its weaknesses and institute measures to use part of the funds released to SDSB to finance micro-finance institutions.
There has been no effort to develop community institutions in the rain-fed areas. It is recommended that the Home Economics Section identify women groups that have been trained under the project and empower these women to form about 10 savings and credit groups. In addition, a contract for mobilising 10 savings and credit groups may be given to an NGO ACAT is suggested so as to ensure that the project at least develops about 20 groups. These groups need to be the focal points for seed multiplication, small stock development and testing green manure cover crops.
For this purpose the Home Economics Section and the selected NGO would have to develop the required linkages with research and extension.
NAMBOARD, using its revenues from the statutory functions, will have to proactively facilitate growth of the private sector in marketing of agricultural produce. Drought Early Warning and Contingency Planning : The current approach to developing forecast on drought focuses on assessing supply of food and not on the capability of the household to acquire food.
In order to fine tune the data collection and to develop required drought mitigation strategies, it is suggested that a post of nutritionist be created within the unit and the Swaziland National Nutritional Council be included as a member of the Early Warning Technical Advisory Committee.
The CCU is interested in moving from trading to production of fertiliser and animal feed. MOAC Reorganisation : It is recommended that the MOAC revisit the proposals made in the reorganisation study to look into the service delivery strategy needed to reach, and provide facilitation and empower the resource poor households on the SNL. Monitoring and Evaluation : The project should immediately initiate actions to locate a consultancy company to undertake an impact assessment study.
The PC and the Monitoring Officer should make frequent field visits to ascertain the progress in implementation of the project activities and get feedback from the primary stakeholders for taking corrective actions in implementation. Framework to assist resource poor households : Four factors need attention while developing future rural development strategies for Swaziland. First, a study conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute IFPRI indicates that any meaningful poverty reduction strategy needs to address women's education, health, status and food availability.
Experiences in Swaziland indicate that community institutions play an important role in building education facilities. There is increasing control of resources by women in case of small stock development and vegetable production interventions. The interest of farmers is shifting towards low cost gravity fed systems that are easy to maintain. Second, the land tenure system favours those with privileged access to human and financial resources. At the same time, it restricts investment in land by those with limited resources.
Resource poor farmers may fear loss of land and also investment made owing to inability to cultivate the land as a result of labour shortage. Or they may be subject to land reallocation by the Traditional Chiefs.
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These in-built fears drive the rural communities on SNL to invest in cattle, which is a low risk and mobile investment but with low economic return. Literature published as early as indicates that there are strains in the social framework in SNL areas. These will become more evident as the number of landless increases along with the pressures to privatise communal lands to satisfy the demand by commercial companies and entrepreneurial farmers. Resolution of issues related to security of tenure becomes central to any meaningful investment strategy in SNL.
Third, the AIDS epidemic has its debilitating human and social impact; it also affects the scope for productive investment and production in the rural areas. The average life expectancy in Swaziland is now as low as 38 years. These factors do not bode well for any investment that requires a high labour input. The strategy for any future rural development needs to focus on investments, where the priorities are determined by the communities and not investment strategies designed and delivered from outside.
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Fourth, the projects so far implemented in Swaziland suffer from top-down implementation mode with little participation of the communities. Inadequate participation of the communities is masked when governments provide high subsidies. To achieve sustainability, participation of the communities needs to be enhanced. Interventions required to improve livelihood systems of the resource poor households vary from community to community. Projects with a set of activities that are inflexible will not be able to respond to the requirements and priorities of the community. A system of flexibility will have to be introduced in the project design.
Impact and sustainability are enhanced when the ability of the communities to identify constraints, and to prioritise and implement the interventions are strengthened. This will have to be coupled with adequate control by the community over the financial resources for implementing activities at the community level.
Such devolution of financial powers would empower the communities. It increases their ownership of interventions. Rehabilitation of Old Irrigation Schemes : The data available suggest that some ha are cultivated by existing small-scale irrigation schemes in Swaziland. If the sample visited by the mission is representative, most of this hectarage is under-performing. It would appear logical to concentrate first on improving the performance of these schemes — through rehabilitation and group development — before embarking on a specific project for expansion.
The project is due to close in March The Interim Evaluation was undertaken upon the request of the Government of Ghana to finance a second phase of the project. IFAD procedures require that an Interim Evaluation must be undertaken before designing a second phase. The new approach to evaluation is one that emphasises learning through partnership.
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To promote learning, a Core Learning Partnership is established during the planning stages of the evaluation. The members of the Core Learning Partnership, usually key project stakeholders, guide the evaluation. Upon completion of the evaluation, the members of the Core Learning Partnership prepare an Agreement at Completion Point for consideration by the main partners concerned by the evaluation. The objective of the Interim Evaluation of the Rural Enterprises Project was to provide an analysis of the performance and impact of the project. To achieve this objective, the evaluation was designed to answer seven key questions.
They were:. On the basis of findings with respect to the key questions, the Evaluation Team was to provide recommendations to guide Government of Ghana policies in the rural enterprise sector. It was agreed the Core Learning Partnership would conclude the evaluation process by sharing the findings and agreed follow-up actions with colleagues in government, the donor community and other interested parties at a roundtable meeting in September During the evaluation fieldwork, more than individual clients previously referred to as beneficiaries were interviewed in all 13 project districts of Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
In addition, the Evaluation team met with groups of trainees and clients, District Chief Executives, District Implementing Committee members and implementing agency staff.. A stakeholder and client workshop was held before the fieldwork began to guide the Evaluation team on the approach and issues related to the key questions. A similar workshop was held upon completion of fieldwork to brief stakeholders on the preliminary findings of the team and obtain their feedback. The total cost of the project was estimated to be USD 9.
As at 31 December , USD 5. The objective of the project is to increase rural production, employment and income in order to alleviate poverty through the increased output of small off-farm enterprises. This is being accomplished by: facilitating access to new technology and business advice; promoting easier access to financial services; improving the efficiency of existing small rural enterprises, supporting the creation of new enterprises, and removing communication constraints through feeder road rehabilitation.
The project was designed to build on the Government of Ghana's economic reforms and to encourage individuals and other private sector actors in rural areas to take advantage of opportunities created by the opening up of the economy. At design, it was estimated that direct benefits would accrue to 16 families or about people in the target group. The design gives special attention to the most vulnerable households, socially disadvantaged women, unemployed youth and those who have been apprenticed to a trade but lack the capital or experience to start a business.
Amongst the activities undertaken for the promotion of rural small-scale enterprises, those connected with services provided by Business Advisory Centres can be credited with much of the success of the project. This is over half the target for the whole project, whilst there are still two years remaining in project implementation. Hence a combined total of 5 new and existing businesses and their owners plus approximately 11 people employed by them have been directly reached by the project.
The majority were women. Rural Technology Service Centres were created, equipped and staffed in three districts. Technology transfer activities were successfully implemented through short and long term training at the Centres for apprentices and for master craftsmen. The training for master craftsmen was one of the most effective of the Technology Centre activities. Technology Centres successfully undertook workshop operations including repair services, manufacturing services and dissemination of information.
However, because of the high cost of capital equipment, the relative allocation of Centre resources amongst its various activities, and the relatively limited numbers of clients served, benefits generated do not compare well with total costs. Technology development has been less successful than expected. The Rural Finance services activities of the project have allowed poor and under-capitalised small-scale business people to access the formal credit sector. More than half were women. However, this is less than half the number of new businesses started and a quarter of total businesses supported.
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Some conditions beyond the control of the Project Coordination and Management Unit have contributed to low performance levels in this component. The Infrastructure Support activities through June resulted in the rehabilitation of 74km of roads. This provided social and economic benefits by providing better access to services and markets.
Agricultural production, especially horticulture, has diversified and incomes increased as a result. However, plans for routine and recurrent maintenance of rehabilitated roads were not complete. There has been little direct complementarity between the feeder roads programme and the financial services, technology or business development activities. Due to contractor problems, the amount of Project Coordination and Management Unit time allocated to this component has been disproportionately high.
A major strength of the project has been the flexible approach adopted during project implementation using stakeholder meetings, annual review workshops and targeted consultancies and studies to assess activities and modify implementation to improve effectiveness. These activities have worked well at district level.
The project has made efforts to coordinate with other projects and undertake project activities in such a way as to complement the work of others. However, the potential for achieving joint gains was not fully exploited. The Rural Enterprises Project has reduced poverty for self-employed entrepreneurs and employees in new and existing rural enterprises by increasing incomes and by reducing expenditures.
The Project has achieved this by several means. The Project has reduced poverty by transferring technical skills to rural people making it easier to get a job or to improve the returns to their own businesses. It has reduced poverty by improving the business skills of rural people, allowing them to start their own business or to reduce costs and increase benefits in their existing businesses.
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It has reduced poverty by providing low-income people with access to banking services and capital. It has reduced poverty by generating new jobs as new businesses were created or existing businesses expanded. It has reduced poverty by providing facilities for technical services that have allowed small rural entrepreneurs to grow and flourish. It has reduced poverty by providing short-term employment in roads.