The Kingdom of eSwatini, former Swaziland and a small landlocked monarchy in southern Africa has received a loan of $44 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The country known for its wilderness reserves and festivals showcasing traditional Swazi culture was presented the money on Thursday.
The money which will be directed towards funding an agricultural project was presented by a delegation from EIB which was led by Head of Division Africa – Public Sector Diederick Zambon.
It was received by Finance Minister Martin Dlamini at his offices.
Also to witness the presentation was Economic Planning and Development Minister Prince Hlangusemphi who said, this will finance the third phase of the Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project (LUSIP III).
The prince said this project will benefit about 2259 homesteads, 59 per cent of which are led by women by completion of an off-river storage reservoir to impound 155 million cubic metres of water harvested from wet season flood flows in the Usuthu River.
LUSIP is a poverty alleviation initiative situated in the Lowveld vegetation region of eSwatini.
It is project aims to benefit 4 600 households (34 000 people) through transforming subsistence farmers into commercial farmers of irrigated lands producing cash and food crops.
In its first phase, the project has constructed dams and a tertiary distribution system to irrigate the first 6 500 hectares.
In Phase II, the water delivery system was extended by 36km and there was construction of a tertiary distribution system to irrigate a further 5,000 hectares of crops.