REVIEW OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE LESOTHO AGRICULTURAL MARKETING

  • None Mokitimi Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Faculty of Agriculture, National University of Lesotho, P.O. Roma 180, Maseru, Lesotho

Abstract

The Lesotho agricultural marketing system can be divided into the pre and post-independence era. During the pre-independence era the agricultural marketing system was characterised by a free market system because private traders were the dominant players in the system. The post-independence era was a regulated system because it is characterised by government intervention in the marketing system. Government intervened in agricultural marketing by establishing parastatals. In addition government controlled the imports of some agricultural products and agricultural product prices. This paper reviews the performance of the Lesotho agricultural marketing system since independence. The products covered are livestock, wool, mohair, eggs, dairy, crops and agricultural inputs. The findings are that attempts by government to intervene directly in the agricultural marketing system have had limited success. The establishment of parastatals resulted in the number of marketing outlets decreasing, unstable and frequent number of new marketing organisations, financial losses by farmers as a result of the frequent collapses of marketing organisations, and financial losses by government. The controlling of imports has resulted in high consumer prices. It is argued that government should let private individuals and organisations run agricultural marketing and government's role should be concentrated more on regulating, monitoring and facilitating the efficient operation of the agricultural marketing system.

(UNISWA J Agric: 2000 9: 57-66)
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eISSN: 1021-0873