Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) 2003
DTIS update 2012
WTO accession 1995

EIF is working with the Government of Lesotho, local stakeholders and development partners to strengthen the country's integration into the world trade environment.

Lesotho has mainstreamed trade in its Poverty Reduction Strategy as well as elevated competitiveness, productive capacity and product diversification. Targeted strategic support in the agricultural sector has been provided with strong emphasis on improved value chains and quality standards.

MOU 25/03/10
Budget 1'474'000
End date 31/12/17

EIF worked to strengthen Lesotho's integration into global trade networks and complemented the implementation of the country's Poverty Reduction Strategy. Efforts focused on supporting the EIF National Implementation Unit (NIU) to build and strengthen capacity for the coordination of activities, particularly related to trade mainstreaming and donor coordination.


  • A draft concept note and roadmap for the development of a National Trade Policy was done in collaboration with the Department of Trade.
  • The NIU through the Project Coordinator and National Economist participated in the India-Africa Forum Summit to explore opportunities for extending the funding pool for trade‑related initiatives within the India Africa Cooperation Framework.
  • The NIU presented a Diagnostic Trade Integration Study Update Action Matrix and Medium‑term Programme Implementation Concept Note to the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The note proposes a specific sequence of implementing priorities while taking into account institutional and resource constraints.
  • A comparative review of EIF‑assisted countries with similar characteristics as Lesotho but with higher Aid for Trade inflows (Lao PDR and Tanzania) was completed. The resulting report contains applicable recommendations on improving current trade policy and institutional frameworks.
  • The NIU participated in the “Africa Regional Workshop on Mainstreaming Trade into National Development Strategies”, facilitated by UNCTAD in March 2015.
MOU 17/01/13
Budget 2'735'685
End date 31/03/18

EIF is working to strengthen the capacity of smallholder producers to commercialize and diversify their production of fresh fruit and vegetables for both domestic and export markets, in order to contribute to Lesotho’s sustainable economic growth, employment, food security, nutrition and poverty alleviation. The work targets farmer groups, youth, women and individual smallholder farmers who have basic resources and the motivation to improve their agricultural productivity and diversify into market‑oriented agriculture. Since June 2015, the project has progressively reoriented its activities away from greenhouses (productivity) into the second phase addressing market development (trade development).


  • In 2015, 216 farmers were trained on greenhouse‑protected farming production and plant care. A total of 572 farmers have been trained since the beginning of the project.
  • 26 greenhouse technology packages were installed in 2015, bringing the total number of installed packages to 85. 
  • Harvesting of spinach, lettuce, cabbage and kale from greenhouses and hail nets began in March 2015, and the produce was sold to hotels, schools, supermarkets and communities.
  • The Department of Standards and Quality Assurance was trained how to use inspection equipment in February and March 2015.
  • A packaging training/workshop was completed in October 2015 to build the capacity of a group of 18 trainers and advisors on packaging and labelling.
  • Alosang Enterprise and Lebahofa Cooperative were provided with GS1 barcode numbers to facilitate the implementation of a pilot traceability system in the second half of 2015. These two producer groups have been identified for further consolidation of their activities to transform them into Export Production Cooperatives.
  • A Market Centre for agro products was established to help link cooperatives with domestic and international markets. It will serve as a point for collection, packaging and distribution of the fresh produce from greenhouses, as well as mushrooms produced in the country.
  • The Commercial Centre will also function as an intermediary to assist farmers in having a “footprint” in the banking sector, which is particularly important as access to credit is a constraint for many SMEs.
  • ITC experts will assist in devising a suitable syllabus for a packaging course at the National University of Lesotho that would be compulsory for undergraduate students specializing in crop science, animal science, dairy science and consumer science. 
  • Integrated Framework for Least Developed Countries: Glimpses from Comoros, Lesotho, Maldvies and Vanuatu (2011)

  • Lesotho Action Matrix (2003)

  • Lesotho Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) (2003)

  • Kingdom of Lesotho: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2012)

  • Lesotho Country Profile (2011)

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  • Lesotho Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) Update (2012)


Phera Clifford LEPATI
Chief Economic Planner and EIF Coordinator Planning Unit Ministry of Trade and Industry Maseru

Soaile Mochaba
Principal Secretary and EIF Focal Point, Lesotho