Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU)
Address:P.O Box 11911, Maseru 100, Lesotho
Phone: +266 223 270 09; +266 223 161 33
President: Dr Mohlalefi MOTEANE - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Executive Officer: Mr Motsau KHUELE – email@example.com
History and date of creation
Date of creation: June 2008
LENAFU was created based on the need to have a coordinated apex umbrella body that would function as the eyes, ears and mouthpiece for farmers’ interests in Lesotho.
With the support of the then Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, namely Dr. D. R Phororo, representatives of district farmer association groupings, producer commodity associations (cooperatives), other non-state organisations and individuals with interest in agriculture, met and decided to establish a national farmers’ union.
LENAFU was registered as an apex body representing farmers’ interests under the Associations Act, in June 2008. It concretely started its activities in 2010 (with SFOAP support) and was officially re-launched jointly with the launching of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) compact process.
LENAFU’s membership was initially composed of 10 district farmers’ unions (DFUs), which themselves had been set up to facilitate the creation of the national body. It has then been joined by the National Wool and Mohair Growers Association, the major and oldest commodity-based national farmer’s organisation, three other commodity-based NFOs, and the recently established National Federation of Women Entrepreneurs. LENAFU also included one community-based association.
Legal status.Registered under No: 2008/125 in the Societies Register, Maseru under The Societies Act 1966, on the 13th of June 2008.
Membership. Individual membership of LENAFU is estimated at 80 000, with 60% female. Theses members are shared in:
- Ten (10) District Farmer Associations,
- Six (6) Producer Commodity Associative,
- One (1) National Federation of Lesotho Business Women,
- One (1) Multi-Purpose Farmer Association,
- Five (5) Individual members.
Objectives/missions of the NFO:
Vision. The association’s vision is to be a leading umbrella voice of all farmers and farmer organisations in Lesotho, responsive to all their needs in profitable and sustainable agriculture.
Mission. To be a catalyst in the promotion of high national agricultural productivity, by farmers and farmer organisations, through innovative farming techniques and professional services, producing high quality products for both local and international markets.
Objectives. To help strengthen the institutional capacity and develop networks of farmers’ organisations that link members to information on new technical ideas, markets and funding opportunities outside of their communities. Ensure the active participation of women, youth and other social groups, including in decision making roles and bodies.
Strategic plan. LENAFU’s strategic plan has three main objectives: (i) lobby and advocacy to represent farmers’ interests; (ii) capacity building of farmer organisations; and (iii) information and dissemination.
Areas of intervention, activities, services to members
a) Lobbying and advocacy
Involvement in policy formulation and analysis. At the country level, LENAFU is playing a critical role through its advocacy programme. The Government has shown interest in some of the suggestions coming from them.
LENAFU is a member of the CAADP Country Team and has contributed to the formulation of the National Agriculture Investment Plan.
LENAFU is regularly consulted by the Ministry of Agriculture in view of the preparation of the ministry’s annual budget.
The organisation is also lobbying the Ministry to organise annual agriculture shows, to help farmers in developing the marketing of their produce. Besides, it has brokered the attribution by the Ministry of Agriculture to the National Poultry Farmers’ Association of a site for the construction of a poultry abattoir.
LENAFU has also participated in the development of the Conservation Agriculture (CA) National Strategy and it launched the CA national plan for the period 2012 to 2017 to target efficient and sustainable agriculture production and land management in the farming systems of Lesotho.
Moreover, LENFAU is planning to engage with the Minister of Trade and Cooperatives to find ways whereby farmers could benefit from investments in the agriculture sector currently being negotiated with foreign investors (in particular from India and Indonesia).
LENAFU has helped the National Wool and Mohair Growers Association in getting certificates of origin for export from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Finally, LENAFU was able to mobilise FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) resources to the amount of USD 437,000 to support capacity development in the field of agribusiness (see below) and has obtained support from the United Nations Development Programme to develop a project for young farmers.
b) Capacity building
- Leadership training for members;
- Agribusiness training for members;
- Agribusiness capacitation through workshops and promotion of market networking and exposure activities;
- Active support of women and youth to participate in agriculture.
a) Membership to other networks or agricultural platforms
LENAFU is a member of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU).
LENAFU has managed to establish strong working relationships with the Government, especially with the Ministries of Agriculture and Food Security and Trade, Industry, Marketing and Cooperatives.
ECONET: A mobile service communication system was established in collaboration with ECONET (one of the major players in telecommunications in Zimbabwe and Lesotho) to facilitate message transfers and help generate revenue for economic sustenance of member organization.
SFOAP (IFAD, the European Union (EU), The Swiss Development Agency (SDC), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). LENAFU participates in the SFOAP as a member of SACAU.
AGRITERRA/FAO: The Food and Agriculture Organisation has mandated Agriterra to support LENAFU to strengthen its financial sustainability and its membership base. Agriterra has proposed a one year (2014-2015) advisory trajectory based on organisational assessment, strategic planning, business planning, financial management, member consultations, communication training, HR assessment, value chain development and rural entrepreneurship (ERI/CORE).
FAO/TCP: LENAFU is the first non-state organisation to have core-signed a Technical Capacity Building Project (TCP) with FAO, with the endorsement of the Government. The TCP aims at enhancing the capacities of LENAFU, its national commodity-based associations and the DFUs of two pilot districts (Maseru and Mafeteng) in three areas: (i) institutional development, (ii) agribusiness and access to markets, and (iii) awareness, information and negotiation.
GIZ. LENFAU was also involved ina Conservation Agriculture (CA) initiative, financially supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), aimed at capacitating farmers on adaptation strategies against the negative impact of climate change.