DTIS update
WTO accession

Working with local stakeholders and development partners through the EIF framework, Lesotho has strengthened its integration into the world trading environment. Lesotho has mainstreamed trade into their Poverty Reduction Strategy as well as strengthening the country's efforts in raising competitiveness, productive capacity and product diversification. Targeted strategic support in the agricultural sector has been provided with strong emphasis on improved value chain addition and quality standards.

End date

The project aims at strengthening Lesotho's integration into the world trading environment and complements the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, as well as the country’s efforts in raising competitiveness, productive capacity and product diversification. The project focused on supporting the EIF National Implementation Unit (NIU) to build and strengthen capacity for the coordination of activities particularly related to trade mainstreaming, donor coordination and productive capacity building.


  • The EIF National Steering Committee (NSC) and the Technical Appraisal Committee were resuscitated and held their first meetings in October and August respectively. The resuscitation of NSC meetings is expected to create a bridge through which trade development priorities will be connected back to the Development Partners' Consultative Forum.
  • A draft concept note and road map for the development of a National Trade Policy was done in collaboration with the Department of Trade.
  • The NIU through the Project Coordinator and National Economist participated in the India-Africa Forum Summit to explore opportunities for extending the funding pool for trade‑related initiatives within the India Africa Cooperation Framework.
  • The NIU presented a Diagnostic Trade Integration Study Update Action Matrix and Medium‑term Programme implementation concept note to the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The concept note proposes a specific sequence of implementing priorities while taking into account institutional and resource constraints.
  • A comparative review of EIF‑assisted countries with similar characteristics as Lesotho but with higher Aid for Trade inflows (Lao PDR and Tanzania) was done. The resultant report contains applicable recommendations on improving the current trade policy and institutional frameworks.
  • A Quarterly Trade Sector Bulletin which shares trade ‑related information and EIF programme results with public has been established, and the first bulletin was published in January 2016.
  • The NIU participated in the “Africa Regional Workshop on Mainstreaming Trade into National Development Strategies” facilitated by UNCTAD in March 2015.
  • A new mobile-friendly website has been developed.
  • The NIU also undertook preparations for a television magazine covering trade sector issues that will be aired in 2016. 
End date

The project is strengthening the capacity of smallholder producers to commercialize and diversify their production of fresh fruit and vegetables for both domestic and export markets, in order to contribute to Lesotho’s sustainable economic growth, employment, food security, nutrition and poverty alleviation. The project targets farmer groups, youth, women and individual smallholder farmers who have basic resources and the motivation to improve their agricultural productivity and diversify into market‑oriented agriculture. Since June 2015, the project has progressively re‑oriented its activities away from greenhouses (productivity), into the second phase of addressing market development (trade development).


  • 216 farmers were trained in 2015 on greenhouse‑protected farming production and plant care. A total of 572 farmers have been trained since the beginning of the project.
  • 26 greenhouse technology packages were installed in 2015, bringing the total number of installed packages to 85. 
  • Harvesting of spinach, lettuce cabbage, and kale from greenhouses and hail nets began in March 2015, and the produce was sold to hotels, schools, supermarkets and communities.
  • The Department of Standards and Quality Assurance was trained on how to use inspection equipment in February and March 2015.
  • A packaging training/workshop was completed in October 2015 to build the capacity of a group of 18 trainers and advisors on packaging and labelling.
  • Alosang Enterprise and Lebahofa Cooperative were provided with GS1 barcode numbers to facilitate the implementation of a pilot traceability system in the second half of 2015. These two producer groups have been identified for further consolidation of their activities to transform them into the Export Production Cooperatives.
  • A Market Centre for agro products will be available in 2016 to help link cooperatives with domestic and international markets. It will also serve as a point for collection, packaging and distribution of the fresh produce from greenhouses, and mushrooms that are produced in Lesotho.
  • The Commercial Centre will also function as an intermediary to assist these farmers to have a “footprint” in the banking sector, which is particularly important as access to credit has been a constraint for many SMEs.
  • ITC experts will assist on devising a suitable syllabus for a packaging course at the National University of Lesotho that would be compulsory for undergraduate students specializing in crop science, animal science, dairy science and consumer science. 

Principal Secretary and EIF Focal Point Ministry of Trade and Industry Maseru

Phera Clifford LEPATI
Chief Economic Planner and EIF Coordinator Planning Unit Ministry of Trade and Industry Maseru

Angela Mammusi RAPOTSO
Chief Trade Development Officer Foreign Trade Ministry of Trade and Industry Maseru

Asha Kannan
Donor Facilitator, Advisor, Economic Strategy, United Nations Development Programme

Trade and Technology

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