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Funding pours out for Lesotho sorghum food business

By Mamohaila Rampo


The Lesotho-owned Sorghum Food Business – Bohlale – has received M500, 000 funding from the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio).

This funding was open to eligible small, innovative businesses that were badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to Informative Newspaper Bohlale Director ‘Matokelo Nthejane said with this intervention they will hire more staff to curve the unemployment rate in the country and also perfect their graft with the funds.

Among other things, she said they will improve packaging and advertising.  Nthejane said improved advertising gives effectiveness in the marketing formula.  “When packaging and advertising work together, they have the potential to create the ultimate marketing bomb, no matter how limited the budget is,” she insisted.

Bohlale retails sorghum and wheat products including sorghum biscuits, muesli and rusks. It has also created jobs for 10 women from around the Roma Valley, in the process, they are empowering jobless women in the country.

Before the funding, they had hired five women from around their location and now the number has doubled to ten.

”That is no small number in a country where job creation is a hard nut to crack. Youth and women are at the receiving end of the employment opportunities,” said Nthejane.

On the challenges, like any other business ‘Nthejane said as an innovative new business venture, most people are still not familiar with locally produced products.

Nthejane said Sorghum products such as rusks and biscuits are rare, not only in Lesotho but also globally. But what makes them unique is that Bohlale is a kind of product best known for its health properties including good nutrition, high fibre and absence of gluten. Sorghum plants are also known to be good in resisting droughts which are now a common thing in Lesotho.