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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.