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On Monday 22nd, October 2018, LMDA held a Private Sector Advisory Panel District Outreach meeting at Ha Bofihla in Thaba Morena, about 30 kilometres south-east of Mafeteng Town.

The Thabana Morena meeting kick-starts a week-long series of PSAP meetings to be held in Mafeteng. Other areas to be visited are Matelile and Mafeteng Town.

More than 60 attendees filled the small hall of the local cooperatives centre. The huge turn-out was proof of existence of the huge potential of the area. Most of the participants are involved in piggery, poultry, wool and mohair and dress-making thus maintaining a trend that the LMDA has observed since the district outreach campaigns started in August, 2018.

Mafeteng is the second district after Berea that the LMDA PSAP has visited since the inception of PSAP district outreach campaign.
“Our main challenge is access to profitable markets”, lamented ntate Ts’okolo Moloi, an elderly man who lives by selling locally produced cosmetics. “We have raw materials in abundance. Just look at the aloes around you. Terrific!” he exclaimed, pointing in all directions.

The campaign is part of the project definition phase of the Compact II development process. The purpose of the campaign is to gather real stories on how the mainly rural Basotho people engage in trade and livelihoods building practices.

As expected, majority of the participants practise crop farming since Lesotho is predominantly an agricultural country. However, some are engaged in manufacturing of medicinal ointments and cosmetic from the aloe plants.

Presenter after presenter motivated attendees on the huge possibility of building huge industries on the back of agricultural produce. The testimonies shared by the PSAP members drew loud cheers and ululations from the largely enthusiastic and female crowd.

The thrust of the message was for Basotho to take their destiny in their own hands by taking advantage of their ownership of the land and generating innovative industrialization of what have hitherto been largely ignored but immediately and naturally occurring plants, such as rosehip, aloe, wild shrubs and different types of fruits.

According to Lipuo Nkholi, a young budding entrepreneur and PSAP member who produces canned fruit and jam, Basotho should have been exporting canned fruit for years as the skill to do it is widely prevalent among most Basotho people and has been passed from generation to generation.

The PSAP is a structure of the compact development process which brings together experts in the four job-creating areas including agriculture, creative industries, manufacturing and tourism. Its aim is to organize practitioners in the four sectors around compact development. It meets regularly to offer advice to the compact development process as well as to give updates on new developments in the sectors.

The Compact development process has now entered the project development phase from which specific projects are expected to be shaped and subjected to feasibility studies ahead of possible endorsement by the US and Lesotho Governments.

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