L is for likoti

L is for likoti

Date: 30 September 2014

Likoti means ‘holes’ in Sesotho (one of 11 official Lesotho languages). It is used to describe a method of Conservation Agriculture where pits of about 30cm in diameter by 20cm in depth are dug and filled with organic fertiliser and seeds.

The practice was introduced in Tebellong, a mountainous area of southern Lesotho, to help farmers increase their agricultural yields. Compared to conventional agriculture, likoti has resulted in: higher crop yields, better soil fertility and soil structure, higher incomes, and greater social sustainability – since this technique is available to even the poorest villagers. Figures from 2010 estimated that over 5000 households had adopted likoti taking up almost 3% of all arable land in the country, though the figure is probably higher since it includes farmers who have adopted the technique without support from farmer or development organizations.

Likoti in Lesotho – Photo credit: Pim Techamuanvivit

The A-Z of Food Sovereignty in Africa shows the positive alternatives to corporate-led agriculture. A new letter was posted each day in the lead up to World Food Day arrived on 16 October 2014.

Africa’s small-scale food producers already know how to produce enough food sustainably to feed themselves but the political and economic rules which govern the food system are set against them. These rules are written by and for multinational companies and political elites, in support of a global food system that benefits them rather than the millions of smallholders and family farmers who produce the food and get little in return.