The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA)’s focus on developing selected agriculture sub-sectors; dairy, piggery, leather and horticulture are indicating the numerous opportunities that continue to exist in the sub-sectors.
This was informed by the fact that the majority of the clients were in the agriculture sector and the high import bill of the sub-sectors’ products.
LEA CEO Dr Tebogo Matome has spoken about their belief then was that by focusing on the development of these few sub-sectors such will result in more meaningful and impactful results.
“This thinking has had an input in the choices of the sub-sectors for the Economic Diversification Drive by the Ministry of Trade& Industry,” said Matome.
“Our experience has indicated that, while this approach is better than general entrepreneurship development, better results may further be achieved by the recognition of regional strengths and opportunities in terms of comparative and competitive advantages,” Matome added.
He also pointed out that the financial year of 2013/2014 which started in April this year, was treated as a transition year while LEA undertook a study to determine the business opportunities in the different regions of the country, adding that to inform them on the sub-sectors that the LEA different regional offices can focus on developing.
Matome said that in the last financial year the Authority continued to prioritise advocacy for the development of strategic projects, in the form of the Leather Park, Leupane Diary Cluster and the Rapid Incubation models.
“These projects are meant to ensure a sustainable and holistic development of the different sectors for the economy,” he said.
His view is that the Leather Park is meant to stimulate the growth of leather industries, whilst the rapid incubators will provide short term technical training to potential recipients of inter-alia, the youth grant scheme.
On the dairy production, he stated that the Leupane dairy cluster if successfully implemented will not only reverse the trend, but also drastically reduce the milk and milk products import bill in the long term, as well as offer a milk production model which can be replicated across the country.
Touching on the Authority’s performance of the 2012/2013 financial year, LEA stood at 79.8 percent against a target of 75 percent. Matome viewed that as impressive given the operating challenges that they have as an organisation.
“These results attest to the positive impact we have made in the lives of our clients; specifically in assisting a number of them to realise their dreams and aspirations of starting, developing and growing their businesses to sustainable levels,” he said.
He also pointed out that currently LEA has a high level of satisfaction among the clients as reflected by the Satisfaction Index of 86 percent.
“At LEA we understand that this mandate of entrepreneurship development is enormous and needs collaboration from different sectors,” he added.