Tsekiso Ranqhai

PhD Student


Supervisor: A/Prof Rachel Wynberg

My PhD is an investigation into the political ecology of farming in Lesotho, unraveling the power relations, and determining the drivers of detrimental impacts on local traditional agriculture. I will be analysing the historical policy development and outlook in Lesotho, survey the spatial and temporal scope of government and NGO agricultural development projects, and attempt to understand different farmer typologies and their attendant local farming practices. The gap this study seeks to address is to explore the disjuncture(s), if any, which exist between policy and reality for farmers, and how can this be ameliorated and remedied. It also seeks to understand the structural or systemic reasons for the frequent failure of agricultural development initiatives.

My interest in ecological farming systems stems from my childhood, growing up in a small rural village in Lesotho. As I pursued my studies, mainly in Chemistry, I grew frustrated with the lack of food security among the local farmers at home. Finding sustainable solutions suited to our environment, and independent of external chemical inputs which are harmful to our health and environment, has become an overwhelming passion. In 2017 I decided to leave my studies in Chemistry and pursue this passion as my career, participating in finding solutions applicable and appropriate to communities like mine.