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Project Name

Climate-Smart Agriculture for Climate-Resilient Livelihoods (CSARL)

GEF Implementing Agency



To enhance the food and nutrition security, as well as promote the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, through diversified, climate-resilient agricultural production practices and associated market linkages.


Bhekisisa Mkhonta


Project Targets

200 ha

land under integrated and sustainable management

543,757 MtCO2e

GHG emissions avoided or reduced


beneficiary households




Stakeholders engaged

Eswatini faces the interconnected challenges of rural poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation. The main drivers of environmental degradation in eSwatini are increasing human population, soil nutrient mining within farmlands, growing livestock populations on communally grazed rangelands, land tenure arrangements, deforestation and climate change. These drivers have led to reduced natural resources, biodiversity, and ecosystem services—all essential for agricultural productivity. The result increase food insecurity for smallholder farmers and contribute to rural poverty and climate change vulnerability. 

To address the interconnected challenges of rural poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation, the Government of Eswatini, through the Resilient Food Systems programme, aims to introduce a paradigm shift toward integrated, multi-stakeholder development planning at the local level. This planning approach aims to ensure land, water and other natural resources are sustainably managed and harnessed as key drivers of growth. 

The project is structured around three principal components:

  1. Promoting integrated, multi-stakeholder development planning processes in 37 chiefdoms;
  2. Scaling up sustainable land and water management practices; and
  3. Strengthening capacities at the national and sub-national levels to monitor ecosystem services and resilience and to carry out associated knowledge sharing and reporting activities.

The project draws on IFAD’s experience of similar projects in Eswatini and deepens the understanding of how to address food security nationally through integrated approaches. The CSARL project is closely associated with IFAD’s Smallholder Market-Led Program (SMLP), which strengthens market linkages and promotes the scaling-up of resilient and sustainable agricultural production practices and approaches.

The project aims to meet the following targets:

Chiefdom Development Planning process institutionalised in three of the four regions in the project area.

  • Develop 37 Community Development Plans.
  • Allocate human, water and land resources to planned development activities.

Sustainable Land Management (SLM) applied at multiple scales across 37 Chiefdoms in three regions.

  • Rehabilitate 31,450 ha of land with functioning ecosystem services.
  • Support 12,000 households in coping with the effects of climate change.

National capacity developed to monitor and refine SLM policies and programmes

  • Train 98 professionals in Sustainable Land and Water Management (SLWM) monitoring and planning.

The Ministry of Finance provides oversight and liaises with IFAD and GEF for project implementation. Major stakeholders at the national level include the Ministry of Agriculture, Eswatini Water and Agriculture Development Enterprise, Eswatini Environment Authority and the Eswatini Meteorological Service. The Rural Development Areas, local NGOs, and the Inkhundla (Parliamentary Constituency) play key roles in activities at the chiefdom level. 

Project Activities

Each RFS country project conducts activities that fall under common thematic areas within the programme. Explore each project theme relevant to the RFS eSwatini country project below to see which activities are being implemented under each theme.

Stories from the Field

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Relevant Resources

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