Vegies and eggs, Senekane diversifies

Vegies and eggs, Senekane diversifies

australian-aid-identifier-colour copy-200px
The Southern Africa Livelihoods Project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Over the past two years in Ha Senekane village in Lesotho, the Senekane Agricultural Association has been thriving.

Transforming from a small subsistence vegetable group of farmers into a commercially oriented one was just the first step. The group has now gone one step further and diversified into egg production.


Poso, the president

Poso Maroba is President of the Senekane Agricultural Association. A former school teacher, Poso was always interested in commercial farming so when the Southern Africa Livelihoods Project (SALP) began working in his community he knew this was the opportunity he had been waiting for.

“In my previous job I was a teacher. But now since this new project of SALP has started it is now that I have resigned.”

Poso, along with a small core group of farmers, began working tirelessly to build their new commercially focused vegetable production.

Senekane diversifies

Support from SALP

The Southern Africa Livelihoods Project, funded by Australian Aid and World Vision Australia, invested in key infrastructure for the group including drilling a borehole to ensure the group has a sustainable source of water, laying irrigation pipes to transport the water to the farm and also establishing two water tanks among the vegetable plots.



Before vegies but now eggs

A result of the new sustainable water source, the Senekane Agricultural Association’s vegetable production began to grow and simultaneously they began diversifying into egg production.

The group had a history of keeping a small number of chickens that they’d sell locally but had never ventured into egg production.

SALP assisted the group with the construction of a shed and also the initial purchase of 1,500 chicks. After this initial thrust forward from the project, the group took up their new business responsibilities and began looking to hire staff. 

"Another development is job creation where they somehow become professional in hiring the staff. And now they have two women hired who are paid on a monthly basis permanently."

Komiti Rabolinyane, SALP Coordinator

Meet Mapaseka

Mapaseka grew up in a village next to Ha Senekane. After finishing school she continued her studies and received a diploma in computer studies. Focused on finding a job, Mapaseka also took driving lessons and received her driver's licence.

Despite her qualifications and strong hopes of finding a job, Mapaseka was unsuccessful. Eventually she returned to live in her childhood village and care for her ageing mother.

At the time, the Senekane Agricultural Association was advertising for paid staff to help manage the egg production business. Mapaseka remembers walking home past the group’s advertisement. "When I see the poster. I make an application to Poso the manager, he admit me, so I'm happy for that."


Meeting market demand

With Mapaseka and another woman are working full time managing the chickens, Poso had more time to focus on developing the customer base.

Soon enough the group received a contract to supply one of the largest primary schools in the district with an egg per day per child.

Marelobohile Chocha oversaw the egg supply for her school’s students and was responsible for contracting Senekane Agricultural Association.

“As we are considered one of the largest schools in the district, we did not think that we will have a supplier. Since working with Senekane we have not ever encountered any problem with delivery of eggs. They deliver on time. They give us the proper number of eggs required.”


Building the business

Poso realises that Mapaseka is a valuable asset to the Senekane Agricultural Association and can assist in building their operations. She regularly works with him in the office preparing invoices for customers and keeping detailed records of the group’s sales and expenses.

“We are using the delivery book for delivering the eggs. We are having the invoice that we draw up to the where we have put the eggs. If we get cash, we use the receipt book as the professional documents for carrying the business.”


There is life in agriculture

Mapaseka held dreams of finding a job in the city and using her qualifications but for now she is happy managing the egg production.

This year, Senekane Agricultural Association is planning on purchasing a computer to help with their business management and bookkeeping. Maybe Mapaseka will get a chance to use her computer skills after all.

"I can say in agriculture the life is there, with my hands we can make it. By planting, we can maybe produce something we can sell and make it a better life."

– Mapaseka Ramohlasi, Senekane employee


See more stories of how World Vision is growing livelihoods in Southern Africa.