The anomalies began in April when the deal with WFP through the school feeding programme collapsed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing national lockdowns.
Under normal circumstances, WFP would buy beans of any category from local farmers and subsequently distribute them through the school feeding programme.
But since the pandemic broke out, schools have been closed and therefore it is no longer a prerequisite for them to buy the beans. Since the deal buckled down, local farmers have been left hanging, particularly with tons of pinto and NUA 45 beans in their possession as they struggle for a formal market.
“We had a partnership with WFP through the school feeding programme where they would buy beans in their different categories. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have since pulled out of the deal because schools have been closed,” said the Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU) Programmes Manager Khotso Lepheana in an interview with Metro on Tuesday.