Lesotho: Horticulture productivity and trade development
Project’s Target Areas and Groups:
Target beneficiaries were drawn from the four lowland districts of Leribe, Berea, Maseru and Mafeteng.
Farmer Groups (Cooperatives and Associations)
Individual smallholder farmers who have basic resources and motivation required to successfully improve agricultural productivity and diversify into market-oriented agriculture. However special concessions were made for the poorest of the poor who demonstrated enough passion and commitment to enterprise but lacking in basic means.
Ministries of Trade and Industry (MTI), of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) and of Small Business, Cooperatives and Marketing (MSBCM).
The International Trade Centre (ITC), as the main implementing entity. Responsibilities among these entities were shared in accordance with the following table:
Outcomes and Responsibilities
Enhanced skills and knowledge of Smallholder farmers (SMEs) and their cooperatives in the use of appropriate technology in production of high-value FFVs.
MTICM · Identification of beneficiaries and their location as well as specific needs within cooperatives
· Approval and coordination of Project management processes
ITC · Office of Africa (Procurement and supply of appropriate agro-technology)
· Sector Competitiveness Section (Division of Market Development)
MAFS · Identification of beneficiaries and their location as well as specific needs within cooperatives
· In collaboration with suppliers of equipment provide agronomical support and relevant training, crops department assist in the identification of Project beneficiaries and field services assist with extension work
Masianokeng Mushroom laboratory provides greater volumes of Mushroom Spawn for the ever-growing demand for the spawn in Lesotho.
MAFS · In collaboration with suppliers of equipment install and lead production of additional spawn at the selected premises MTICM · The marketing department to assist with identifying potential markets for the mushroom
· Standardisation, Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Metrology (SQAM) should help with proper packaging of mushroom to ensure freshness and market value
Strengthened capacity of the DSQA to deliver Quality Assessment support services to SMEs.
ITC · Enterprise Competitiveness Section –SQAM Unit (Division of Business and Institutional Support)
· Trade Information Section (Division of Market Development)
MTICM · Department of Standards and Quality Assurance (DSQA) – lead and design the strategy for standard knowledge development
· Department of marketing should start mentioning Lesotho’s products conformity to standards as a new marketing ploy
MAFS · Agriculture research department Outcome 4
Strengthened consolidation/commercial Market Centre that manages an inclusive supply chain services linking cooperatives to domestic and international markets.
MTICM · Coordination of design and implementation of the FFV supply chain
· Coordination of partnerships between producers and private sector (Consolidation-Marketing Centre operations)
ITC · Export Strategy Section: build capacity and design sector strategy for the FFVs
· Export Strategy Section: Build capacity and design sector strategy for the FFVs
· Market Information System (mobile and printed versions for use by locals)
Improved financial management skills among target coops/smallholder farmers and as well as capacity enhanced to receive bank loans.
MTICM · In collaboration with Ministry of Finance lead the deployment of the Credit Guarantee Scheme to Project beneficiaries ITC · Train farmers and cooperative growing FFVs to better deal with finance management issues including with finance houses e.g. bank loans repayment