AGRO INDUSTRY (emerging commercialization growth potential)

Agro opportunities lie in crop farming, aquaculture, horticulture, livestock and food processing.

Lesotho’s population largely depends on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods. Over the past three decades, the contribution of agriculture to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has declined from around 20% to some 7%, comprising of 2.3% arable agriculture and 4.1% livestock.

Although the current status does not show significant contribution of agriculture to GDP, the sector holds immense potential towards contributing to economic growth through generating employment and reducing poverty levels.

The Government of Lesotho (GOL) has made it part of its priorities to advance commercial agriculture as one of the growth poles. In alignment with the national strategy, LNDC has alo intensified its efforts to promote investment in this area.

Aquaculture

  • Global fish consumption has increased five-fold in the last five decades resulting in aquaculture now being the fastest growing sustainable food production sector in the world. The demand for fish globally cannot be met by natural fisheries alone, therefore the expansion of aquaculture is inevitable. The aquaculture sector has set itself apart in the global food production, due to its continued innovation and lead role it plays as major component of the future green economy.
  • In Lesotho, fish farming plays a very important role in the development of the fisheries industries. The potential for aquaculture development has increased as a result of the current and planned water development projects such as the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase I and II respectively.
  • Due to differences in altitude, Lesotho has two distinct fish farming zones namely:
    •  The Lowlands – where temperatures are relatively high and
    •  The Highlands – characterized by cold climatic conditions.
  • The cold climatic conditions in Lesotho are suitable for production of high quality trout. Trout, like its salmon cousins, requires clean and cold, well-oxygenated, fast-moving water at a high altitude, which is exactly what Lesotho’s dam reservoirs offer.
  • Lesotho has an abundance of fresh disease-free water and fish farming has emerged as a lucrative business activity with two farms supplying the Republic of South Africa and Japan with trout/salmon. The capacity services a very small fraction of the market leaving very big room for investment in expansion and diversification of fish species for these markets which allow for duty free-quota free entry of fish from Lesotho.
  • The current fish product stands at 300 tons of trout per annum with potential to grow the capacity to 1,200 tons per annum.
  • Lesotho thus has potential to become the regional leader in aquaculture in Lesotho.

Horticulture

  • Historically, processing of fruit and vegetables in its simplest form like pickling, sun drying or making preserves was practiced in the country from very ancient times in almost every home. In Lesotho, little activity has been done in processing of fruit and vegetables for commercial purposes. In an effort to diversify its export base, Lesotho has identified processing of fruit and vegetables as a potential production area.
  • Feasibility for production of deciduous fruit has been successfully piloted indicating fruit like peaches, apples, cherries, plums, berries, grapes and pears with high growth potential.
  • Tremendous potential also lies in the production of high value cash crops such as mushrooms, asparagus, beans, peas, spinach, tomatoes and potatoes.
  • A Cannery already exists which produces mostly for the EU market and operates for seven months per annum, from September to March of the following year. The Cannery has a capacity to produce +/- 10 tons of asparagus per day, +/- 10 tons of peaches per day and +/- 6 tons of baked beans per day.

About LNDC

The Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) is the main parastatal of the Government of Lesotho charged with the implementation of the country’s industrial development policies.

“The mandate of the Corporation is to initiate, promote and facilitate the development of manufacturing and processing industries, mining and commerce in a manner calculated to raise the level of income and employment in Lesotho.”  more...

Contact us

Lesotho National Development Corporation
Block A, Development House, Kingsway Street
Maseru, Lesotho, 100


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