The USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub boosts trade and investment with and within Southern Africa.

View By Country: Lesotho

December 4, 2019—Lesotho has relied on manufacturing to generate employment for its citizens. The garment manufacturing sector, in particular, is the largest private-sector employer in the economy. Recognizing this, a forthcoming Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact, set to be launched in 2021, seeks to diversify Lesotho’s economy. Working in partnership with the MCC, the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub has identified horticulture as a high-potential market system for promoting investment into Lesotho under the MCC Compact. Lesotho is a net importer of horticulture produce. The Compact’s objective is to encourage a five-year import-substitution program, focusing on crops such as dried beans, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, capsicum, apples, pears, grapes, peaches, melons, and citrus. Possible irrigation sites have been identified in Likhakeng, Phamong and TsuiliTsuili/Manka, where sufficient water supplies could make horticulture production viable. The USAID TradeHub is conducting a study to establish this viability as well as explore different models for collaboration between anchor investor farmers and communities in Lesotho. The study is expected to feed into an investor roadshow, which will generate a foreign investment pipeline, especially from South Africa. This is in line with Objective 2 of the USAID TradeHub Annual Work Plan for FY 2020, which seeks to increase investment, including technology transfer, from South Africa to Lesotho.


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