Baby vegetables are growing up in Eswatini

“Seeds of success” has special relevance to baby vegetable producers in Eswatini.

Products such as fine beans, baby marrows, scallops and baby corn were relatively unknown in the region five years ago. Since then varieties such as the bean STAR 2054, marrow STAR 8023, gem squash Pinnacle, scallop Pinwheel and baby corn Thai Gold have all been successfully introduced, and now form an important part of many growing programmes.

A feature of baby vegetable production is that it is quick, and income is realised within a relatively short space of time. It also allows production of more than one crop per season on the same land. Anything that increases the consumption of healthy foods such as vegetables is to be promoted, and Starke Ayres is encouraged by this trend in Eswatini.

Production of these crops in Eswatini differs from other areas in that there are a large number of smaller growers with limited resources, and this requires a unique marketing system. The National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD) has developed a system to suit the situation.

Fresh produce is delivered to NAMBOARD, where the bulk of it is packed and distributed to retail outlets all over the country. Inputs (including Starke Ayres seed) are available at the delivery point and this means growers have access to a convenient, one-stop shop. This saves time and money when sourcing the necessary inputs.

Messrs Dlamini and Bandile at NAMBOARD have been instrumental in the exposure and growth of the Starke Ayres brand within this system, and we look forward to continued success.