Writes: Tjonane Matla
A delegation of twenty representatives of the Apex Committee of the National Wool and Mohair Growers Association paid a visit to the Wool Centre construction site on the 25th of May 2017, which was the final day of the National Wool and Mohair Show in Maseru.
“The project shall cost M25 million, of which about M3 million has already been spend as cash, while the other M 2 million as guarantees, to mark a total of sunk costs to M5 million. The first phase of the construction, which is a warehouse, shall be completed by August 2017”. Stone, the Project Manager commented, during the site visit briefing of the National Committee.
It is planned that the wool centre shall be both the national warehouse and trading/auction centre for Lesotho’s wool and mohair with independent wool testing infrastructure within the premises. According to the plan, Lesotho’s wool and mohair shall then be auctioned through internet facility from the Thaba – Bosiu Wool Centre and then be pressed and shipped to the buyers overseas.
This move has not yet been tested, as some of the farmers are claiming to be currently getting maximum market exposure at the BKB warehouses in North End Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa where the farmers claim to be selling their produce at the world highest market prices.
One of the top and influential committee members when approached with a question as regard to the future of the two South African agency companies trading with the growers said that the most important need was the warehouse, as the Government of Lesotho shall no longer provide the farmers with the storage facilities, however it is worth aiming higher so that there is competition, and the best service and highest revenue possible with minimum cost must be earned by the farmer.