Find Agriculture expertise in Lesotho

Industry

Agriculture, along with forestry and fisheries, contributes 8% of GDP, and is the primary source of income, or an important supplementary source, for more than half the population in Lesotho (2010). Agriculture is mostly on a small scale and the majority of the population are involved in subsistence farming though there is some commercial farming. Despite this widespread involvement, around a quarter of people dependent on food aid and the importation of 70% of the country’s annual food consumption. The main agricultural products are maize, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley and livestock. However, being mostly mountainous and with only about 10% of the land workable for cultivation, the country is more suited to livestock than arable farming. In 2009 agricultural land constituted 77% of total land area. Consisting of sheep, goats and cattle the livestock sector is largely subsistence and in the higher elevations it is often the only source of revenue. Sheep and goats have traditionally been most significant, due to their production of milk, meat, wool and mohair. However, numbers of cattle have increased due to their more lucrative contracts.

Declining agricultural production, partly a result of land degradation and irregular and erratic weather, is targeted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development as a principle cause of poverty in rural areas. The main exports from the country are meat and high-quality wool and mohair. The most profitable export by far is wool, generating US$835,000 in 2010. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is responsible for agriculture at a federal level.

Agriculture organisations in Lesotho
Lesotho Agricultural College
Lesotho College of Education
Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
Pannar Seed (Lesotho) (Proprietary) Ltd
The Lesotho National Development Corporation