The three main cereal crops grown in Lesotho include maize, sorghum, wheat beans and peas, covering about 80 percent of the total cropped area. Maize being the single most dominant crop accounts for about two-third of the crops grown by farmers annually.

Lesotho’s agricultural sector is dominated by smallholder and subsistence farmers. While it is Government’s priority to commercialize the farming system, there are a number of constraints that currently affect domestic production. These include limited use of irrigation and technology, weak extension systems, sub-standard marketing, poor access to markets for small producers, insecure land tenure and land degradation. In addition, the sector has struggled with the consequences of climate change, such as unpredictable weather conditions, marked by inconsistent rains and persistent droughts.

LENAFU keen to establish network amongst the cereal farmers in Lesotho

Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU) is working hard to motivate farmers for establishment of producer groups, basically the cereal crops. The current situation is that, there is a few number of farmers groups for cereal crops in Lesotho. There is evidence that if producers in an area are able to work as a unit, they are in most cases able to meet set production targets by realizing economies of scale and increased bargaining power. The transformation of the food industry sector is currently characterized by the spreading of supermarkets, changes in the procurement system and modernizing of processing. This presents an opportunity for producers, particularly those who are organized. Institutions such as commodity/growers’ associations serve as important vehicles to get producers organized and working as a unit. Organizing farmers in producer groups/ networks always helps to develop appropriate or well-fitted producers’ skills and knowledge in order to overcome the specific challenges faced by the farmers. While LENAFU is now undertaking trainings and study tours to the farmers in the cereal crop farming sphere, we belief that organization of farmers in to commodity group/s shall enable for proper planning and provision of short training courses, study tours and workshops that encourages sharing of ideas and exchange of experiences among the farmers. This will also facilitate the development and dissemination of marketing information/ materials to the most appropriate farmers.

Specific activities we do for the farmers

  • · Train and provide targeted back up support to farmers to maximize their potential in their specific areas of involvement in cereal crop farming;
  • · Research on, expose farmers to and link them with different stakeholders and opportunities in value chain
  • · Promote active participation of youth, women, People With Disabilities and other vulnerable
  • · Do research on farmers’ challenges and opportunities; advocate for policy response on land tenure system including applicability of Land Act;
  • · Advocate for farmer-led policy response & implementation on farmers access to inputs, markets, finance and other enabling support services ;
  • · Demand sufficient farmer representation in the determination of agricultural sector policy, agricultural national mid-term and annual policy prioritization & budget, annual farming planning & evaluation
  • · Capacitate farmers with agricultural input resources for the betterment of their production