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FAO Lesotho newsletter, July - October 2018, Issue#1












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    Project
    Strengthening Capacity for Climate Adaptation in Lesotho - GCP/LES/049/LDF 2022
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    In many parts of southern Africa, agricultural production is stagnant or in decline, particularly in subsistence and smallholder agriculture. Among the reasons for this are climate variability and climate change, as resource poor farmers are unable to cope with or adapt to climate risks. The Kingdom of Lesotho is considered highly vulnerable to climate challenges. The country is over reliant on rainfed agriculture for food production and has a large poor rural population engaged in subsistence farming. Vulnerability in Lesotho is characterized by fragile and substantially degraded soils, high levels of food insecurity and poverty, and lack of infrastructure, which curtails the ability of the population to deal with increasing climate variability and climate change. The project aimed at reducing vulnerability, increasing adaptive capacity and building resilience at community level against the adverse impacts of climate change in the country. The project was designed to cover the four agro ecological zones of Lesotho, i.e. the lowlands, mountains, foothills and Senqu River Valley. Its specific objectives were to strengthen the implementation of sustainable land and water management (SLM/W) practices, and to promote diversified on and off farm livelihood strategies focused on crops and livestock.
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    Project
    Technical Support for the Establishment of the Lesotho Soils Information System (LESIS) - TCP/LES/3602 2020
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    Lesotho is a landlocked country completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa More than 76 percent of the country’s population lives in rural areas, where the main source of income is subsistence rain fed agriculture Land use patterns in Lesotho have been mainly determined by historical circumstances and agro ecological conditions In the past, hilltops and mountain sides were used as fortresses and many settlements were confined to these strategic locations, while flat plains and fertile valleys were used for crop farming and remote mountains for grazing This has largely remained the pattern of land use in the country although population pressure and urbanization have forced widespread encroachment of settlements in areas traditionally reserved for agriculture The shortage of arable agricultural land has also tended to concentrate cultivation on mountain slopes, with devastating results for slope and soil stability, a decrease in the quality of rangelands and reduced agricultural productivity The country’s soils are thus under severe pressure as a result of natural conditions and human activities, triggering soil erosion, land degradation and depletion of soil organic matter Soil data in Lesotho are limited and the lack of systematic and organized soil information impedes the management and monitoring of soil properties.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    2018/19 Drought- Preparedness & Response Plan for Lesotho 2019
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    Lesotho is a semi-arid country whose main livelihood activities include subsistence farming and livestock rearing. Rural communities across the country are among the poorest, usually negatively affected by natural hazards, socioeconomic and demographic trends, low agricultural productivity and diminishing and increasingly degraded agricultural land. The country has not fully recovered from one of the recent El Niño weather phenomenon that resulted in a poor performance of the 2015/16 season that hit the country. Now, farmers and agro-pastoralists across the country are facing drought conditions or the second time in three years. A countrywide multi-sectoral rapid assessment which was launched in February 2019 by the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) and the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis Committee (LVAC) predicts that 487,857 people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance due to delayed and below-average harvest. The flyer explains what the current drought conditions are in Lesotho, and gives the objective of FAO in responding to the drought, as well as the key figures such as number of affected people in rural areas, number of affected people in urban areas, the number of people targeted by FAO for assistance, and the amounts mobilized and funding gaps.

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