In a country where all the processed meat products are imported from South Africa, the new company hopes to end the norm by manufacturing almost all processed meat products.
Engendered by five ardent National University of Lesotho graduates, Thabiso Mats’oele, Mokhesi Hlalele, Molapo Shakhane, Lejone Mpotjoane and Majake Mabele, Lecholi “deliciously at your doorstep” came to life after huge economic contraction bred by strict covid-19 lockdown regulations. As most of agricultural products are imported from South Africa, access to agricultural products became difficult due to closed South African borders.
Lecholi is an archaic Basotho name used for a very nice and palatable meat. So the name carries the meaning of toothsome meat produced by Lesotho nationals. It produces range of meat products from beef, chicken, pork and mutton.
This brand is built from network of producers and the market. One great Winston S. Churchill once said “A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity; an opportunist sees opportunity in every situation”. Most of Basotho producers if not all, are quietly faced with a stumbling block in breaking into the formal markets, one of the reasons being inconsistent supply and small scale. Lecholi uses that opportunity to seek the market while producers are busy with production in their farms.
With various activities in production value chain, Lecholi took opportunity of collecting, processing, packaging and distribution of meat produce from farms to customers. “When a customer needs a product, we are just a call away, and the product is right at customer’s doorstep, as the slogan says. By this, one can say Lecholi is unapologetically building sustainable Lesotho’s economy. It aims for business collaboration and partnership rather than business competition. The value chain is wide” Lejone Mpotjoane remarked.
This activity breathes the air of local markets after huge failure of businesses of similar type. These failures are rumored to have been caused by internal disputes among those companies, debacles from unpaid farmers for their produces and late payments made to producers. One of Lecholi’s executives, Mr. Shakhane’s comment on this was that they are going to draw a policy that clearly states how they are going to work with farmers regarding the dates and forms of payments. He emphasized that they are farmers who are already in production, so they know every pain associated to farming.
To ensure that produce meets quality standards of the market, Lecholi has also established consulting services department which trains farmers on proper production methods. This says it is more beneficial to farmers from both production side and market.
They urged producers to produce in large quantities as they will be taking their products. They emphasized that farmers should be business oriented and mainly target turnovers for sustainability of their projects.
“Our farmers should learn about pricing their products. There is a price for producers and retailers. Our famers must do away with ridiculous prices on their products&002; They concluded.