Poverty, HIV/AIDS and food insecurity - escaping a vicious circle

Sustainable Agriculture in Farming Households in Rural Manzini

ADRA is a new partner of sahee. Since the foundation in 2004 until 2011 ADRA Swaziland focused on relief interventions.The Agency implemented food security and economic empowerment projects targeting over 20,000 people. In response to the needs in its operational areas, ADRA Swaziland expanded its portfolio to include development projects focusing on food security, economic development, relief, basic health (including HIV/AIDS) and education.

Swaziland is faced with three major problems: HIV/AIDS, food insecurity and poverty. The three problems are interrelated and each problem exacerbates the other. Poverty and HIV/AIDS: The link between HIV/AIDS and poverty creates a vicious cycle where the progression of the disease exacerbates poverty, and poverty on the other hand increases vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. For an example it has been observed that some women resort to prostitution due to the poverty. HIV/AIDS and Food Insecurity: HIV/AIDS is a contributor to food shortage. Families loose heads of households, able-bodied men and women. What is left are grandparents who often need care themselves. Grandparents are too old to tend the field and children are too young and this leads to food insecurity. Food Insecurity and Poverty: The declining harvests in the last six years an unthinkable impact on smallholder farmers who make up a majority of the country’s population. Poor harvest for commercial farmers contribute to unemployment.

The project addresses all of those problems:
The main objective of the project is to assist farming households in the village with applicable and sustainable agricultural practices to improve food productivity and poverty alleviation at household level in the rural Manzini Region of Swaziland.
The project shall:
- improve food production by training 400 farming households every year in the region of Manzini in agriculture and farming techniques
- establish farming groups to enable the ease of management and technical support.
- ensure the availability and accessibility of planting material and farmers shall be trained on how to select and preserve seeds from their harvest so that they may not rely on the project for the subsequent seasons.
- establish self-support saving and loan services and equip the farmers with saving and loan service skills. These skills shall strengthen their economic power so that they can buy that which they cannot produce.

Project site

Manzini (Map)


600 women and 200 men profit directly from the project, another 4'800 women and 1'600 men as well as 1'000 children under the age of 16 benefit indirectly from the project.

Local counterpart

Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA)

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Project overview

Corn field of the Ekudzeni Farmer Group with one of the beneficiaries


Cultivation of staples in Vusveni near Sigombeni with beneficiaries


Farmer group members on the way home from the fields