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2018/19 Drought- Preparedness & Response Plan for Lesotho










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    Project
    Establishment of a Lesotho National Farmer Registry and Electronic Voucher Management System - TCP/LES/3701 2022
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    Agriculture is the primary source of income and employment in Lesotho, with 65 8 percent of the population living in rural regions as of 2016 However, in favorable crop years Lesotho can only meet 30 percent of its annual cereal requirement and recently its agricultural production has declined further Floods, droughts, frost, fluctuating meteorological conditions, and a shortened growing season all contribute to lower agricultural output and yields Soil erosion as well as falling agricultural investments aggravate this challenging situation As a result, the country highly relies on importation to meet the food needs of its population The poor and most vulnerable households are significantly impacted by the declining agricultural productivity with their ability to recover from climate related shocks also diminishing These deplorable conditions were outlined when the country experienced one of the worst droughts in its history, affecting approximately 680 000 people in 2015 and 2016 Today, an estimated 57 percent of the population lives in poverty, earning less than USD 1 a day Lesotho also has a high malnutrition rate, with 33 percent of children under the age of five being stunted.
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    Document
    Building Resilience to Drought in Lesotho - TCP LES 3601 2018
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    Nearly 75 percent of Lesotho’s population live in rural areas and depend on farming for their livelihoods. The proportion of people living below the poverty line is increasing, and arable land is extremely limited (9 percent of the total area). When the El Niño-induced drought struck in 2015, the agricultural sector was strongly impacted, and the Government of Lesotho declared a state of drought emergency. Many households did not plant at all, leading to a drastic decline in food availability and harvest. In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) and the Bureau of Statistics, this project provided urgently needed resources to initiate support for the most vulnerable households in the country. This project aimed to enhance resilience, rebuild agricultural capacities and support the production of short-cycle vegetables and staple crops, thereby increasing food availability and diversity for those most negatively affected by the drought.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    2018/19 El Niño Response Plan for Southern Africa | Short version
    Increasing the resilience of agriculture-based livelihoods to enhance food security and nutrition
    2019
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    Farmers and agropastoralists across Southern Africa are facing El Niño conditions for the second time in three years. This is occurring in a region where the most vulnerable are still grappling with the impacts of a strong drought episode in 2015/16, which had already weakened their capacity to produce food. Since then, the knock-on effects of climatic shocks and associated poor harvests, coupled with unfavourable economic conditions such as food price volatility, are expected to leave over 10.5 million people in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) levels of food insecurity in early 2019. Important lessons were learned from the 2015/16 El Niño, in particular the need to act early on possible early warning signs. FAO has been closely monitoring the El Niño conditions and related weather patterns in Southern Africa, and is gearing up to act early to mitigate some of the effects on vulnerable people and their livelihoods. There is a critical window of opportunity for mitigation in the region, with early actions that ensure enhanced surveillance and control of plant and animal pests and diseases, access to appropriate inputs and use of innovative approaches to increase farmer awareness of climate-smart agricultural practices. Under the framework of the 2018/19 El Niño Response Plan for Southern Africa, FAO will employ an important lesson learned from the previous El Niño episode: linking early action to medium- and long-term interventions, in order to increase the resilience of agriculture-based livelihoods to future climatic shocks and stressors.

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