Agriculture and Natural Resources

The Orange Free State Rural Action Committee (OFSRUC) was commissioned by the Land and Agriculture Policy Centre to study the land tenure system in the Free State in order to assist the Provincial Government in reallocation of land to landless farmers.  Sechaba helped train OFSRUC in how to carry out community surveys and analyse data.


Support to StockAid UK Programme (on-going):  Since 1997 the Company has assisted small scale farmers in East Africa to develop sustainable livelihoods through intensive organic farming.  This has involved training and capacity building for the implementing agencies (NGOs and farmers’ groups) in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia.  The work is on-going.


Feasibility Study: Helvetas Programme Extension: The company explored options for the support of rural livelihoods through improved Natural Resources Management and environmentally sensitive Land Husbandry. This extensive study was carried out in three phases. The first phase was a review of the two main sectors where Helvetas (a Swiss NGO) support is usually focused: rural infrastructure and natural resources management. The second phase focused on capacity building for rural infrastructure; eco-tourism; land husbandry and community range management. In the third phase a further detailed analysis of natural resource management issues and options in Lesotho and neighbouring areas of South Africa was carried out.


An Assessment of the Training Needs of Members of the Small Irrigation Vegetable Project. Over a five year periods Sechaba Consultants worked closely with the Project to assess the interests and needs of farmers involved in irrigation projects and to develop training packages for them.  This involved profiling and the development of packages for the farmers concerned.


An Evaluation of the Small Scale Intensive Agricultural Production Project (SSIAPP).  The Company assessed progress made by this Project run by the U.S. Peace Corps in the remote parts of the country.  Recommendations looked at alternative approaches to augment the Project’s impact.


Roundtable on Ecological Agriculture for the Small Holder in Southern Africa.   The company presented case studies from Lesotho to this gathering which deliberated ways of making small holder production most viable in the Southern African context.


Range Management and Livestock: With much of Lesotho’s rangelands being rapidly depleted by overstocking and environmental decline, the conservation of remaining areas is critical.  To this end the Company assisted the Matelile and Mphaki projects in technical and social assessment of rangeland management opportunities.


Ecological Agriculture: Sechaba Consultants has been instrumental in assisting the Machobane Agricultural Development Foundation to access funding and develop its institutional capacity to promote the Machobane Farming System (MFS) in Lesotho, including preparing feasibility studies and project proposals for funding.


Input into the Mountain Agricultural Component of the ASIP Programme: In cooperation with IFAD, Sechaba Consultants undertook a Socio-Economic Production Systems Study in the districts of Thaba Tseka and Qacha’s Nek in August 1996.  The results of the SEPSS were then used as a major input in the development of the Mountain Agriculture component of the Lesotho Government’s Agricultural Sector Input Project.


Community Forestry in Lesotho: People’s Perspective: The study was conducted for the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Agriculture in 1989 and was sponsored by ODA.  The book published formed the basis for future social/community forestry programmes in Lesotho. 

Putting people first