Nov. 21, 2022


2 min read

UN body awards Lesotho for investment in agriculture

UN body awards Lesotho for investment in agriculture

UNCTAD Secretary-General, Rebeca Grynspan

Story highlights

    The new trading platform aims to empower local registered farmers, predominantly women
    The launch of the market has promoted investment by smallholder farmers

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THE United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has awarded Lesotho for excellence in promoting sustainable investment in agriculture, and contributing to food security and development.

“The LNDC (Lesotho National Development Corporation) is the proud winner of the UNCTAD Investment Promotion Award for excellence in promoting Sustainable Development in Agribusiness.

“The award is for LNDC’s work in support of the Maluti Fresh Produce Market and the project's impact on agribusiness in Lesotho,” the LNDC said last week.   

The corporation won the award for its initiative to launch the Maluti Fresh Market Produce - a one-stop marketing and product handling facility.

The new trading platform aims to empower local registered farmers, predominantly women, by facilitating their access to markets and finance, thereby supporting them to transition from subsistence to commercial farming.

The place is home to the freshest and best quality new produce baskets. It is a commission-system market based on best practice regulations and systems.

It offers ancillary-post-harvest services (washing, sorting, and packaging) to farmers and primary processing services (peeling, cutting, and dicing) to customers from all walks of life.

The launch of the market has promoted smallholder farmers' investment in producing local fruits and vegetables, reducing reliance on imported goods while providing better nutrition to Lesotho schools that now have a centralised place for procurement. 

The other two investment promotion agencies (IPAs) that have been awarded in a similar vein are Brazil and Egypt.

UNCTAD’s director of investment and enterprise, James Zhan presented the awards during the 13th session of the Investment, Enterprise and Development Commission in Geneva, Switzerland last week.

The effects of the war in Ukraine, COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, devastating floods, and droughts caused by climate change have triggered a global food crisis.

As a result, longer-term solutions are needed to address global shortages, especially in developing countries.

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“The current food crises may rapidly turn into a food catastrophe of global proportion in 2023,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General, Rebeca Grynspan, underscoring the world's challenge.

According to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2022, investment projects in agriculture in developing countries have not yet recovered from the pandemic, and investment activity remains small.

In 2021, they represented only two percent of investment projects in SDG-relevant sectors in developing countries.

Against this background, IPAs have responded by targeting projects that bring innovation, sustainability, and growth in agribusiness.



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