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Consecutive years of poor harvests, adverse weather conditions, such as dry spells and erratic rain, and rising food prices are making it harder for Lesotho’s farmers to produce enough food to meet their needs. Today, as the country experiences a steep drop in domestic agricultural production, over a third of the population are food insecure.

By increasing access to quality seeds, training and extension, FAO Lesotho is helping farmers to resume crop and livestock production so that farmers can produce more food and improve their food security, while at the same time ensuring natural resources are better managed.

Halting environmental degradation

With more than 70 percent of the population depending on less than 10 percent of arable land, finding ways for farmers in Lesotho to halt environmental degradation, for instance severe soil erosion, is key to improving agricultural production. FAO Lesotho is distributing maize and bean seeds, and providing training on conservation agriculture so that farmers can achieve higher yields, while also conserving the environment.

Improving household nutritional intake

With 39 percent of children under five stunted, chronic malnutrition is a reality for many families in Lesotho. This is compounded by low production and poor quality crops, as a result of recurrent dry spells, late rains and other climatic-induced shocks. FAO Lesotho is providing vegetable seed and training for home gardening, and raising awareness on nutrition and food use to help vulnerable families enrich their diets.

Strengthening livestock production

Outbreaks of animal diseases and the lack of infrastructure to prevent and control these are considerably hampering livestock production in Lesotho. While enhancing livestock production can increase household food security, integrating livestock production into sustainable agricultural practices can help vulnerable farmers have a more viable future. FAO Lesotho is strengthening animal health services and working with the Government to improve disease surveillance systems so that farmers have a better chance to combat common livestock diseases. By focusing on ways to manage rangelands, FAO Lesotho is also helping farmers increase livestock production, while being more environmentally friendly.


More about the country

 - Recently, farmers in Lesotho have been consistently obtaining low yields from their staple crops. This has affected food production as well as considerably reducing incomes. The causes more
 - In the community councils of Litjotjela and Maloaneng, Leribe District in Lesotho, Mrs Masekhametsi Hlomoka and Mrs Sesinyi Ramatekoa are beneficiaries of a pilot initiative complementing more
 - During the month of June 2014, up to 106 farmers practicing Conservation Agriculture (CA) had the opportunity to exchange views, experiences and ideas with other farmers more
 - During the month of June 2014, up to106 farmers practicing Conservation Agriculture (CA) had the opportunity to exchange views, experiences and ideas with other farmers during more
 - In the period April to June 2014, 260 teachers from primary and secondary schools from all ten districts of Lesotho participated in training on Conservation Agriculture more
 - In response to the 2012 food insecurity crisis in Lesotho, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture and more
 - Conservation agriculture includes the following steps: Step 1: Field layout Step 2: Digging the planting basins Step 3: Adding fertilizer and/or compost Step 4: Planting Step 5: Manual weeding and thinning Step more
 - Conservation agriculture systems utilize soils for the production of crops with the aim of reducing excessive mixing of the soil and maintaining crop residues on the more
 - Adapting our farming system to ensure a sustainable future We must protect the envireonment that feeds us. We must protect our families. While we have produced food more
 - FAO Lesotho and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) started the Emergency and Resilience Programme (ERP) in 2012, reaching by 2013 up to 18 more