EIF is working with the Government of Lesotho to strengthen the country's integration into the world trade environment.
Trade is now a key element of Lesotho's Poverty Reduction Strategy, and the country has elevated its competitiveness and productive capacity, and is diversifying its exports. With local stakeholders and development partners, EIF provided targeted strategic support in the agricultural sector with strong emphasis on improved value chains and quality standards.
- The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) has strengthened institutions and catalysed economic diversification, improving productive capacities of smallholder horticulture producers to boost their trade potential. These initiatives put horticulture on the map; with a highly concentrated economy and trade profile, horticulture provides much‑needed diversification.
- The EIF supported the introduction of greenhouse farming technology to smallholder horticultural farmers and with the technical support by the International Trade Centre (ITC) helped the Government of Lesotho to establish its first major market center for fresh fruits and vegetables in the capital Maseru.
- The EIF is contributing to the reduction of poverty and unemployment, as women and youth are direct beneficiaries of its initiatives.
- The EIF has helped the Government build a conducive trade environment and negotiate access to new markets for products and services from Lesotho.
EIF is working to strengthen Lesotho's integration into global trade, complementing the implementation of the country's Poverty Reduction Strategy. Efforts focused on coordination, particularly related to trade mainstreaming and donors.
- Completed Diagnostic Trade Integration Study Update Action Matrix and Medium‑term Programme Implementation Concept Note, proposing a specific sequence of priorities while taking into account institutional and resource constraints.
- Completed comparative review of EIF‑assisted countries with similar characteristics as Lesotho but with higher Aid for Trade inflows (Lao PDR and Tanzania), with applicable recommendations on improving current trade policy and institutional frameworks.
EIF is working to improve the ability of smallholders to commercialize and diversify their production of fresh fruit and vegetables, targeting farmer groups, youth, women and individual smallholders who have basic resources and motivation.
- 572 farmers trained on greenhouse‑protected farming production and plant care.
- 85 greenhouse technology packages installed.
- 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.
- Market centre for agro products established to link cooperatives with domestic and international markets, and serve as a point for collection, packaging and distribution of fresh produce from greenhouses, as well as mushrooms produced in the country.