Second sheep auction around the corner

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By Neo Kolane

The Wool and Mohair Promotion Project (WAMPP) will host the second annual auction of rams and ewes at the Quthing Breeding Centre (Sheep Stud) on March 3 2021.

The sale of high-yield Merino rams and ewes to local farmers, increases access of Basotho wool producers to improve genetics, which in turn contributes to improved production and productivity.

WAMPP is a seven-year project signed in June 2015 and launched officially by the Prime Minister of Lesotho in June 2016. The project completion date is June 30 2022 and the closing date December 31 2020.

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It is a country-wide initiative with the goal to boost resilience to the adverse effects of climate change and economic shocks among poor, smallholder wool and mohair producers in the mountain and foothill regions of Lesotho.

The project’s development objectives are to enable smallholder livestock producers to generate higher incomes and more sustainable livelihoods as well as to increase their ability to cope with and recover from natural shock.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday, the first auction was held last year, where 67 animals were sold under the hammer; the highest priced ram went for M16, 900. This year, an estimated number of one 130 animals (rams and ewes) will be sold.

It continues to state that under WAMPP, two breeding centres, one in Quthing and another in Mokhotlong, have been transferred to the Lesotho National Wool and Mohair Growers’ Association (LNWMGA) in a 20-year sub lease agreement. The two breeding centres will continue to support Merino rams and ewes even after the project concludes in 2022.

WAMPP works with smallholder wool and mohair producers to improve the quality and quantity of these fibres produced in the country thus improving quality of life of small stock farmers whose livelihoods largely depend on these ruminants.

It is funded by the government of Lesotho, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and LNWMGA.