By: Ntsoaki Motaung
The Lesotho Wool Centre held a media briefing today at Thaba-Bosiu to brief the media about their prelimininary results of the end of the season 2018/19.
The centre says the season has been exceptionally long due to a number of challenges which clouded their operations since they started auction of the wool and mohair in November last year.
One of the main challenges has been the delayed payments to the farmers.
“As we give the preliminary results to you today, it was agreed between us, the farmers and the government of Lesotho. You will remember we started with the district of Qacha’s Nek at the end of May this year, and only the last district which is Maseru, was fully paid at the weekend. We however have to keep on apologising to the farmers for the delayed payments, as we have mentioned that in most of the cases the reasons were beyond our control” Mr Mabilikoe Mosenye said when going through the statement.
As the wool centre wraps up the season, they are planning to hold regular interactions with the farmers themselves to iron out and explain issues and ensure that they understand the markets and these complex formulas that are used in the industry.
Looking on the way forward, the wool centre mentioned it that amongst the decisions reached it is to fast-track auctioning of the produce as soon as it reaches their stores. For instance, once they have enough wool in a particular class to fill in a container, such will be put on auction, without having to wait for the delivery of the entire farmer’s wool or mohair from the sheds. In this way they shall be able to sell on time and pay the farmers on time and per their batches.
The wool centre has budgeted over 20million for building a testing station in the country. The station will be open for everyone in need to use the station because it is not only built for wool centre and it is said to be a non-profit making entity. This is to curb a number of challenges the centre is experiencing as testing in other countries is costly.