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Launch of National Piggery Association to Boost Local Pork Production

Business


Libuseng Molato
In a significant step towards reducing pork imports and boosting local production, the Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU) has launched a national piggery organisation called the Pork Chops Association.
The launch, guided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Nutrition, occured in April, at Durham Link in Maseru.
A Response to Government Concerns
The formation of the association stems from last year’s gathering of pork farmers with the Ministry of Agriculture where the government expressed concern over the high rate of pork imports despite local production efforts.
The new association aims to consolidate these efforts for greater impact.
Motšelisi Pitso, the assistant secretary of the Pork Chops Association, explained that only associations, cooperatives, and companies, not individuals, are permitted to join stressing the strategy is designed to streamline management and achieve national targets.
“To reach the entire country, we plan to gather all pork producers in each district and form one association. This will simplify management and ensure that each farmer joins their respective district pork producer association,” Pitso clarified.
“By addressing the challenges faced by pork producers and leveraging government support, the association aims to make the country self-sufficient in pork production, thereby reducing imports and enhancing local economic development,” Pitso explained
Addressing Farmer Challenges
During the launch, farmers raised several challenges they face daily, key issues include difficulty in obtaining proper medication for pigs and a shortage of veterinarians, which leads to animal losses.
The committee has been directed to seek assistance from the relevant departments to address these issues.
Farmers also highlighted the lack of a stable market as a significant demotivator, causing many to quit due to unreliable buyers.
“There is a pressing need for farmland allocations. Farmers often face accusations of environmental pollution from neighbouring residential areas, despite purchasing land designated for farming,” Pitso expressed.
Ministry Support and Future Plans
Likopo Maputsoe from the Department of Livestock and ‘Nyane Thabana from the Department of Marketing were present to offer their support. Likopo assured the farmers that the Ministry of Agriculture is committed to supporting and meeting their needs.
Bokang Molelle, the chairperson of the National Piggery Association, emphasised the importance of increasing local production to improve the economy and create jobs.
“We plan to help the government of Lesotho implement the National Strategic Development Plan 2 (NSDP 2 extended) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production,” Molelle stated.
Key Challenges and Solutions
Molelle also addressed the core challenges faced by pig farmers, including the high cost of animal feed and the need for standard abattoirs.
“Animal feeds are expensive, and like crop farmers, we need subsidies to increase production rates. Subsidised medication would also be beneficial,” he noted.
He proposed the establishment of standard abattoirs in each district to avoid unsafe pork transportation and meet formal market regulations. “Regional abattoirs could be a feasible solution if district-level facilities are decentralised,” Molelle added.
Looking Ahead
This launch is just the beginning for the Pork Chops Association, according to Pitso, with the Annual General Meeting scheduled for July this year.
“This is where more detailed plans and strategies will be discussed to further the goals of the association and support the piggery industry in Lesotho,” she said noting the creation of the Pork Chops Association marks a significant milestone in Lesotho’s agricultural sector.

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