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Unravelling Lesotho’s Wool Sector

Wool and mohair are the bread and butter of many of the Basotho, the people of Lesotho. The tiny nation, surrounded on all sides by South Africa, owns 17 percent of the world’s mohair market. But this industry has been rocked in recent years after Lesotho’s government struck a deal with a Chinese entrepreneur that turned the wool export business into a monopoly. Wool farmers say the terms have driven them to bankruptcy and desperation, with millions of dollars’ worth of product they can’t sell.