SWAZILAND: Sugar prices tempt small farmers away from food production

Published on 18 August 2009

Observers are divided on the merits of cash crops in favour of subsistence food production, which are challenging long-held views about food security. "It is simplistic to say that cultivating export crops robs starving people of food here at home. In fact, that's wrong," Amos Ndwandwe, an agricultural extension officer in the eastern Lubombo region, told IRIN. This has been Swaziland's main cane-growing area for generations. Tammy Dlamini, a programme officer at the UN World Food Programme (WFP), which in recent years has provided food assistance to more than 60 percent of the country's roughly one million people, agreed. "For us, food security is not just production; our position is that people are going hungry - not because there isn't food production, but because they don't have enough money to purchase food."

Related Links

Reuters Alertnet