Publication: Linking Smallholders to Markets: A Supplier Development Program for Vegetable Farmers in Lesotho

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Reva, Anna
Agriculture plays a significant role in Lesotho's economy. Lesotho is among the poorest countries in Southern Africa, with fifty-seven percent of the population living below the poverty line. About seventy percent of the population lives in rural areas and depends on agriculture for their livelihoods. Most farmers are involved in subsistence cultivation of cereals, where the country does not have a competitive advantage due to the agroclimatic conditions, small farm size, and lack of mechanization. This contributes to widespread poverty in rural areas, which account for eighty-seven percent of the poor. The objectives of this study are to: (1) assess the demand for vegetables from formal buyers in Lesotho; (2) examine the current production and marketing strategies of commercial vegetable farmers; and (3) suggest the design of the pilot supplier development program (SDP) to improve formal market access for smallholder farmers. The focus of this study is on Maseru, as it is the main center of demand in the country. The rest of this paper is organized as follows. Part 1 describes the demand for fresh produce and sourcing strategies of buyers in Maseru. Part 2 discusses the production and marketing practices of commercial vegetable farmers. Part 3 outlines the design of the pilot SDP.
Reva, Anna. 2019. Linking Smallholders to Markets; Linking Smallholders to Markets : A Supplier Development Program for Vegetable Farmers in Lesotho. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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