Blackberry cultivation for landscape conservation and climate smart agro technologies in Senqu River Basin
Blackberry cultivation for landscape conservation and climate smart agro technologies in Senqu River Basin
Blackberries (Rubus fruticosus) are a commercial fruit sold in the markets with potential for export as well. This plant grows naturally in the rangelands of Lesotho and grows best on the marginal lands. Since it has not been considered important economically in Lesotho, the populations of these genotypes are decreasing in the veld. The remnants of this blackberry trees and shrubs aren?t well managed in order to satisfy the good fruit supply for the markets. The problem of erosion has resulted in most places be under low vegetation cover. Furthermore with changing climatic conditions, the soils have become more acidic and thus inhabitable by most plant genotypes. However, blackberries grow more on acidic conditions as they are able to absorb the necessary nutrients efficiently under acidic conditions. The Senqu river basin is characterized by the problem of soil erosion, low vegetative cover as a result of climate change. The agricultural productivity in these areas is relatively low. Thus the economy is hence very low. Most part of Senqu river basin is remote will no employment opportunities to local communities. There is high dependency on natural resources for their livelihoods It is in the priority of this GEF SGP project to address the issues of biodiversity, land degradation and climate change in this area. Establishment of blackberry as a crop in this project area is not only relevant in research but also addresses the pertinent issues of poverty and job creations. Thus the investigative approach followed by the pilot phase of the developed technologies shall be the general approach to this project
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Project Snapshot

The National University of Lesotho
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Operational Phase:
Phase 6
Grant Amount:
US$ 25,867.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 68,916.00
Project Number:
Start Date:
End Date:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Notable Community Participation
In Lesotho blackberries are found growing wild in the marginal areas including hills and rangelands. These are places that are usually known by the herd-boys who are technically the youth. The phenotypic traits are properly understood by these people. Thus the youth shall be serving the most important part in genotype collection and characterization.
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
In the identification of genotypes, the local communities are the ones directing researchers to the spots and telling them about their known characteristics of such genotypes. The description of the type of blackberry they would want to cultivate is from the communities.
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Grantee Contact

Dr. Mpho Liphotho
Phone: +266 52217093


P. O. Roma 180
Maseru , Africa , 180



SGP Country office contact

Mrs. Nthabiseng Elizabeth Majara
(266) 222228000
(266) 22310042
Mr Tseliso - Tsoeu
+266 22313790
+266 22310042


GEF-SGP Lesotho, C/O UNDP CO Lesotho, 13 United Nations Road, P.O. Box 301

Country Website