Tier 1 project
Lesotho's DTISU was undertaken by USAID and validated in September 2012. The DTISU was formally published in 2013 in both English and Sesotho versions and distributed to all consulted and interviewed participants. These included Government Ministries and Parastatals, Private Sector Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, District Administrators and District Officials as well as to all of Lesotho’s Foreign Missions.
The DTISU reviews the progress in implementing the DTIS Action Matrix, identifies gaps, constraints, challenges and opportunities. It also makes recommendations for further reform aimed at strengthening the enabling environment for trade and investment promotion and related capacity building for both government institutions and private sector for export expansion.
The NSDP 2012/13-2016/17 was finalized in March 2012 and explicitly includes trade issues. Implementation of the trade elements of the NSDP was included in the MTP, which was finalized in 2013. Lesotho was one of the two pilot countries to prepare a MTP with the assistance of the Executive Secretariat for the EIF.
In a joint initiative Lesotho organized Round Table discussions with DPs, International Agencies and private sector as part of the Lesotho Investment Forum Event in South Africa in March 2014. The Round Table discussion explored avenues to achieve the objective of inclusive and balanced economic and human development. In follow up, the NIU are working with DPs to raise resources for the implementation of the MTP.
As part of the Tier 1 Phase 2 project, Lesotho plans to prepare a National Trade Policy (NTP) and a National Export Strategy (NES). In preparation, the NIU worked with UNCTAD to host a two-day workshop in December 2013 on "Mainstreaming Trade into the National Development Strategies". The workshop had a wide range of participation from government, parliament, senate, private sector, academia and non-governmental organizations, and other resident DPs.
The Tier 1 project facilitated organizational support for the One-Stop Business Facilitation Centre through a planning workshop. There is now joint cooperation in the implementation of the One Stop Business Facilitation Centre between the World Bank, UNDP and the EIF.
In 2013, the Tier 1 project also supported the development and validation of the Consumer Protection Policy 2013 as well as publicity and dissemination of the policy to stakeholders.
The Tier 1 project has facilitated the validation of the National Industrial Upgrading and Modernization Programme, the participation of Lesotho in the Fourth Meeting of Trade Ministers for Landlocked Developing Countries, as well as the UNDP Technical Meeting on Gender and Trade Mainstreaming into National Development Strategies held in Pretoria.
The project has also facilitated and funded Lesotho’s participation in the SADC-EPA States Technical Working Group on Services and Investment, 08-13 November, 2013.
Through the EIF programme in Lesotho, an outreach programme was conducted in September 2013 across ten districts in the country, to increase awareness on trade and trade-related programmes at the district level for government officials, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and the civil society. The MTICM Minister and the Permanent Secretary participated in around half of these district events.
During 2013, at least two events were held with NSC Members to enhance their understanding of the EIF processes and engage with DPs, including a breakfast meeting prior to the DTISU validation with the participation of a number of Ministers, Ambassadors and private sector representatives.
In 2012, UNDP undertook a capacity needs assessment of trade-related institutions in Lesotho. The study was carried out during the period of the finalization of the DTISU allowing for synergies in the processes. The resulting analysis and plan was validated in December 2012 at a stakeholder workshop. The assessment provides recommendations relating to awareness of trade issues; MTICM institutional framework; leadership and management skills; developing trade strategies; inter-ministerial coordination; trade data and information; communications and IT; as well as M&E.
In October 2012, a Private Sector Roundtable was organized through the EIF Tier 1 project to support the national trade agenda.
Outreach activities: Lesotho was part of the film "Trade Works", which has been used to sensitize members of the NSC. An international consultant developed a communications strategy, working closely with the MTICM communications lead to profile the importance of trade and development. Support is on-going from the ES to align the strategy to the NIU work plan and in promoting impact-focused outreach activities.
In rolling out the strategy, Lesotho has developed a website on EIF delivery informing partners of the status of programme implementation and using it as a forum to engage wider trade and trade‑related departments as well as DPs. Lesotho also features in the EIF country profile series, which have been widely disseminated to engage the different stakeholders in driving forward programme implementation.
Lesotho has also been strong in advocating trade for poverty reduction using the DTISU as a roadmap for these purposes. With committed partnership support, a Lesotho post-DTIS event was hosted by UNCTAD in 2012 focusing on using inter-agency cooperation to reduce poverty through trade. Lesotho also participated in the first EIF M&E and Communications Regional Workshop for African Anglophone countries in April 2013 in Zambia.
In February 2012, Lesotho hosted an EIF regional awareness raising workshop on the objectives, principles and implementation of the EIF programme for Eastern and Southern African EIF Countries.
Tier 2 project
Lesotho’s ‘Agriculture Trade Development Project for the Fresh Produce Sector’ contributes to the enhancement of Lesotho’s sustainable economic growth, employment, food security, nutrition and poverty alleviation through building and strengthening the capacity of smallholder producers to commercialize, diversify and promote production of fresh fruits and vegetables for domestic and export markets.
In terms of capacity building for agricultural purposes, the fresh produce sector project will directly benefit 1,050 farmers, of which 30% are women.
The EIF Tier 2 project has strong potential for synergies with a World Bank Private Sector support project which also includes work on greenhouse technology. There is also cooperation with China in the operations of the Mushroom factory, with China providing technical assistance and expertise in the production process.
Forty Greenhouses and 21 hail net houses have been distributed and installed in four districts (Leribe, Mafeteng, Maseru and Teyateyaneng) to local producers.
Thirty-seven Horticultural District Officers from ten districts have been trained on the Greenhouse and hail nets Installation, handling, seedling production, transplantation, drip irrigation systems, plant health protection and general factors concerning good agricultural practices.
Thirty-seven Field Services Officers and Agronomists from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and from MTICM were trained (Training of Trainers) on Protected Plant Technology and good agricultural practices.
Furthermore, four officials from the Departments of Standards and Quality Assurance, Agricultural Research and Disease and Plant Control have undertaken a training attachment in Kenya.
On 7th November 2013, the first seeds (cucumbers, sweet peppers (green, yellow and red) and tomato) were planted. Moreover, the initial batch of cucumber seeds matured much more rapidly than expected indicating that Lesotho cucumbers may have a production advantage of 20 days compared to the production and harvesting norm.