Improving Agricultural Commecialization and Nutrition

Component Summary

This component will provide much-needed financial support to farmers and agro-processors benefiting from the technology training and irrigation support provided under Component 1. The provision of irrigation, for e.g., would improve the potential of year-round water availability that is critical to improving agricultural productivity and commercialization in Lesotho’s agriculture. 

Financing support in the form of matching grants will enable the cashconstrained farmers to capitalize on the availability of irrigation and training in CSA technologies for on-the-ground productive and sustainable investments. Investment support will be provided in selected high potential value chains (VCs), including horticulture, potatoes, small-scale piggery and small-scale poultry. 

Sub Components

Support for Horizontal Alliances

The sub-component will finance support for the formation of new alliances for service- and market-related activities as well as strengthen the existing alliances among farmers. The multi-fold benefits of horizontal alliances, including, inter alia, sharing of
market information, building economies of scale for input supply, product assembly, transport, packaging and storage
as well as effective capacity to negotiate and enter into supply agreements with off-takers will enable farmers improve their on-farm productivity as well as enhance their opportunities to access markets. 

The alliances would range from formal associations to informal “WhatsApp” groups according to the interests, objectives and means of the members. The project will provide training in organization, governance, bookkeeping, business development, procurement and

Improved Nutrition

The objective of this sub-component is to improve dietary habits and practices among project beneficiaries. Towards this, the project will promote increased dietary awareness through improved knowledge of nutrition, increased household production and consumption of high-nutritious foods and food products as well as small-scale processing in nutrition-sensitive value chains. This partially PHRD-financed sub-component will be an integral part of the overall project that seeks to mainstream nutrition within the value chains supported under the project. 

Sub-component interventions will be implemented in close collaboration with the proposed Nutrition and Health System Strengthening Project (P170278), a US$60 million IDA Credit operation currently under preparation and expected to be approved by the World Bank Board in mid-November 2019.