Crop as­sess­ment find­ings

Lesotho Times - - Advertorial -

Plant­ing time

Most farm­ers planted from Septem­ber but reached peak (48% - 65%) in Novem­ber into De­cem­ber. This time is con­sid­ered late as the rec­om­mended plant­ing time in most liveli­hood zones ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Food Se­cu­rity is Septem­ber to Novem­ber. Agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion is pre­dom­i­nantly sub­sis­tence and rain-fed mak­ing pro­duc­tion sus­cep­ti­ble to weather fluc­tu­a­tions.

Area planted

A large num­ber of house­holds (67%) cited that they planted be­low three acres of land each to all crops, 32% be­tween three and ten acres while only 1% planted above 10 acres. Ma­jor­ity (55%) planted the same area as the pre­vi­ous year, 27% planted smaller men­tion­ing poor weather con­di­tions, lack of agri­cul­tural in­puts and draught power as their main rea­sons.

Types of Crops Planted

The va­ri­ety of crops that were as­sessed were maize, sorghum, wheat, beans and peas .The find­ings in­di­cated that 80% -100% of house­holds planted maize, 29%-71% beans, 19%-59% sorghum and 1%-33% peas. The moun­tain ar­eas in­di­cated a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of house­holds who planted wheat, rang­ing from 13% to 41%. More­over, wheat was found to have per­formed very well com­pared to other crops re­gard­less of weather chal­lenges (snow and frost) ex­pe­ri­enced in Oc­to­ber 2017

LIVE­STOCK CON­DI­TION

Live­stock and range­lands con­di­tions were largely de­scribed to be on av­er­age ex­cept in Bothabothe and Quthing where 60%-80% of house­holds men­tioned the con­di­tions to be good. Wa­ter for live­stock was scarce dur­ing the months of Oc­to­ber 2017 to Jan­uary 2018. Good rain which was ex­pe­ri­enced in Fe­bru­ary led to an im­prove­ment in range­lands and wa­ter avail­abil­ity for both do­mes­tic and live­stock use. It was in­di­cated that the coun­try did not ex­pe­ri­ence live­stock dis­eases dur­ing this agri­cul­tural sea­son.

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