a fully-fledged wool and mohair testing laboratory and center with full international recognition. Shi said this when addressing the media on Tuesday at the LWC premises.
The LWC was presenting their preliminary results of the end of the season 2018/19 regarding the sale of wool and mohair. “We are currently sending our samples for testing
to New Zealand since we experienced problems with the South African based international bureau in Port Elizabeth. It showed no interest and refused to
work with us last season,” he said. He added the wool testing bureau will be built by the Lesotho government together with LWC. “We are going to finish it by end of September and that will be a
milestone for the Lesotho wool industry,” he stated. The LWC Warehouse Manager Mabilikoe Mosenye said the 2018/19 wool and mohair season was a long one due to a number of challenges which clouded their operations
since they started auction of the wool and mohair in November last year. He confirmed the main issue was delayed payments to the famers however he noted they
have since paid all the farmers in full. Mosenye further stated that some farmers have issued genuine complaints of miscalculations either on their payments or net weights and classes given as presented at the shearing sheds.
“We are already working on addressing these issues and they will soon be resolved soon with the right evidence presented. Also our officers are currently
in the districts to receive queries which will be sent to Thaba-Bosiu and will be addressed each case at a time,” he said. Mosenye also apologized to farmers for delayed payments and promised to work better
this season. He also added that they plan on holding regular interactions with the famers to iron out their differences and explain some of the issues to ensure
that farmers understand the markets and the complex formulas used in the industry. Though they have been able to pay all farmers LWC still have in store over 2000 bales
of wool which were not able to be shipped because of the blockade by South Africa after reports of anthrax outbreak in the outskirts of Maseru. According
to Mosenye these bales of wool were already auctioned and ready to be shipped to the buyer. According to LWC the sale of wool and mohair to international buyers has been able to bring to Lesotho US$33.0 million (M465
million) as forex into the country. “We believe this is a great contribution and injection to the national economy, unlike in the past where the farmers
only received their payments after the South African brokers had converted the dollars to the local currency,” Mosenye added. LWC Information Technology and Statistics Manager Moeketse Kuenane stated LWC
received from the famers 24592 bales of wool weighing 3820 tonnes adding that as for mohair, they received 2 279 bales together with 857 bags. The total number of farmers who brought wool to Thaba-Bosiu was 30 481 and mohair
farmers were 17 332. Mosenye further noted the direct sales to the last buyer in the market have put Lesotho on a different map thus in the coming season the demand will be seen to grow.
He therefore urged Basotho to improve their production and strive to bring good qualities and quantities of the best classes of wool and mohair needed by the global industries.