Local Initiatives Support Project
At the time of the project half of the people in the disadvantaged southern region of Lesotho dependwd on earnings from migrants who work in the Republic of South Africa. Farm sizes are smaller than the country’s average, and households cannot survive on agriculture alone. Traditional food grains, including maize, sorghum and wheat, account for almost 100 per cent of total crops. Both production and markets are inadequate.
Rural households survive on a combination of remittances, subsistence agriculture and on-farm and off-farm income-generating activities. The project targeted small-scale farmers with limited land as well as women, landless people, youth and unemployed people.
The project had the objective of raising the incomes of rural poor people by increasing agricultural productivity and initiating a range of opportunities to create both on-farm and off-farm employment. The focus was on developing grass-roots service-oriented organizations to ensure vital linkages between national organizations and rural poor people. The goal was to reduce to a minimum the need for future government support.
Project activities included:
- improving crop productivity through inputs, irrigation, conservation and research
- developing on-farm and off-farm rural enterprises, including cooperative management of poultry units
- supporting communities through financing for village water supply schemes and community gardens
- supporting institutional measures to improve project management, training and monitoring and evaluation.