‘Small busi­nesses cen­tre of econ­omy’

Lesotho Times - - Opin­ion -

prod­ucts in one place and have a guar­an­teed mar­ket.

We have also noted that some Chi­nese-owned busi­nesses are not ad­her­ing to their li­cense terms with their su­per­mar­kets also oper­at­ing as spaza shops. I have met with the Chi­nese am­bas­sador to Le­sotho as part of our in­ter­ven­tion ini­tia­tives. It must be un­der­stood that we are not fight­ing the Chi­nese but rather mak­ing them aware that they must ad­here to their li­cense rules. We also want to work with them. They are ac­tu­ally part of the tar­get mar­ket for lo­cal pro­duc­ers and we are ex­plor­ing ways which they can un­der­stand this.

LT: What is your min­istry’s re­la­tion­ship with other sis­ter min­is­ters like that of Trade and In­dus­try as you can­not achieve all these plans with­out their buy-in?

Mo­choboroane: For­tu­nately, cabi­net has es­tab­lished a sub-com­mit­tee which, of which Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Joshua Setipa and I are mem­bers. Co­op­er­a­tives are a burn­ing is­sue right now and I am do­ing ev­ery­thing in my power to en­sure we pro­mote them. LT: Your min­istry re­ceived one of the small­est bud­gets in this cur­rent fi­nan­cial year. Is this go­ing to af­fect your op­er­a­tions in any way?

Mo­choboroane: Not at all. Money is not ev­ery­thing. We could have a lot of money but have no proper plans to spend that money. So our fo­cus right now is to cre­ate an en-

abling en­vi­ron­ment for a big­ger chunk of the na­tional bud­get.

There is a lot of po­ten­tial in the agribusi­ness sec­tor, and our work right now is to sen­si­tise Ba­sotho that the ten­der­ing busi­ness is slowly fad­ing away and we need a plan B. So, for now, there is no mon­e­tary pres­sure.

How­ever, we have sub­mit­ted a de­tailed plan to the Min­istry of De­vel­op­ment Plan­ning seek­ing more money in the com­ing fi­nan­cial year as we be­lieve we would have laid a good foun­da­tion for in­vest­ment in this sec­tor.

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