A value chain system made by local farmers

Lubombo value chain system

This project is part of an overall strategy to build a value chain system for the Lubombo region. This consists of three subsystems: The seed system, the vegetable production system, and the marketing system for Lubombo Eco products. The goal is to anchor the value chain locally and build a sustainable system led by local farmers that empowers farmers to build resilience, be decision makers, and develop markets for their products.
The sahee-funded project focuses on two components: 1. seeds and 2. processing of agricultural products. 1. community seed banks will be established and local drought resistant seeds and crop varieties will be obtained through participatory seed selection. This aims to promote climate resilience among smallholder farmers by enabling them to have timely access to seeds adapted to their environment during the planting season. It also reduces reliance on hybrid seed, which requires significant investment and leads to crop failure when climatic conditions are suboptimal. 2. In recent years, COSPE has worked with farmers in the Lubombo region to develop an agro-food brand, LEP (Lubombo Eco Product). The brand refers to the processing and marketing of agricultural products that have been produced in an environmentally friendly way and with added social value. The LEP system is part of a larger and structured system that includes three processing centers and, thanks to recent support from sahee, a solar-powered cold storage room for fresh vegetables (see previous project Cool!). The sahee project will strengthen and scale the LEP system. The goal is to increase the planning and management capacity of the LEP board so that it can independently implement the business plan, manage production volumes, and the types of products to be processed and sold. The ultimate beneficiaries will be the local farmers who supply vegetables and are involved in processing and marketing.

Project site

Lubombo region (Map)


Direct beneficiaries:
- 30 farmers (all women) who will process, package and market agriculture products in three processing centers (Tikhuba, Mpolonjeni and Shewula); they will also process raw vegetables from vegetable scheme beneficiaries.
- 188 farmers (85% females) who will participate in seed multiplication, storing and sharing
- 119 vegetable farmers from nine groups, five groups in the Lowveld (75% women) in Mpolonjeni Inkhundla and three groups of vegetable farmers from the Plateau (66% women) in Matsanjeni, who will sell vegetables in a coordinated system through different channels.
Indirect beneficiaries:
- 400 farmers from seed fairs and exchange visits (60% women)
- the families of the direct beneficiaries, that will benefit from the increased income and increased availability of vegetables for consumption and increased crop productivity (average of 8 people in each family resulting in 1736 individuals)
- 140 vendors (80% women) of the Lubombo Region who will reduce the cost of travelling to buy fresh produce, thus increasing their income.

Project costs and assistance by sahee

The entire project costs are CHF 96’000.–, whereas sahee takes over CHF 60’000.–.

sahee stays in regular contact with the project leaders, monitors the activities and visits the project once a year on site.

Duration of assistance

1st of February 2021 to 31st of January 2023

Local counterpart

Cooperation for the Development of Emerging Countries (COSPE)

Project site


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Project overview

The cold room created in the previous project is an important part of the local value chain


The Lowveld is the region in Eswatini with the least rainfall


The (re)construction of dams and sustainable irrigation systems will enable the cultivation of vegetables.