§ Mr. Sandys
During the period 1960–63 Basutoland has received some £1.1 million in C.D. and W. grants and a further £½ million in Exchequer loans. It has also since 1960 received nearly £3 million in budgetary aid.
Measures to improve the economy have been directed to the development mainly of agriculture and, to a lesser extent, of communications and to the start of an infrastructure for secondary industries. 167W These measures will be continued during the next development period and expanded to the extent that funds can be made available.
The full answer to the Question is as follows:
- 1. During the period 1960/62 Basutoland has received some £1.1 million in C.D. & W. grants and a further £½ million in Exchequer loans. It has also since 1960 received nearly £3 million in budgetary aid.
- 2. Since the natural economic potential of the country lies almost entirely in its agriculture, measures to improve the economy have consisted primarily in agricutural development. This has taken three main forms; the combating of soil erosion; the improvement of marketing and credit facilities through the medium of Co-operative Societies; and the improvement of agricultural production, mainly through promoting, by extension methods, the "Progressive Farmers' Scheme".
- 3. For soil conservation, development funds amounting to nearly £½ million were allocated during 1960/63. The territory hopes to spend substantial sums on this, together with schemes for improved land use, during 1963/68.
- 4. Registered Co-operative Societies now number 170 (including 129 credit societies and 20 marketing societies); finance is supplied through a central co-operative bank. Subject to its available resources, the territory has major plans to improve these services during 1963/68.
- 5. By the end of 1962 the number of certificated Progressive Farmers was 621 (as compared with 176 in 1959). This venture, which is proving markedly and increasingly successful, suggests that, by improved cultivation, the value of the produce from a given amount of land can be virtually doubled. The target number for Progressive Farmers by 1968 is 2,000.
- 6. Other agricultural projects, in hand or contemplated, include Livestock Improvement, Irrigation Research, Pastural Research and (with a particular view to improving the quality of wool) Helminthiasis Research. A team, financed by the Ford Foundation, was recently in the territory investigating the system of land tenure; its report is awaited. Proposals for a geological survey are currently under consideration and a hydrological survey is also contemplated.
- 7. Further projects and plans (apart from those concerned with the Social Services) are directed mainly toward improved communications and the preparation of an infrastructure for modest industrial development. The territory is applying to the International Development Association for a substantial loan to assist with its road development programme. A loan to extend the main Power Station is now under negotiation with the Colonial Development Corporation. Work has begun on the preparation of a small industrial estate; and the feasibility of various local processing industries is being studied.
- 8. A possible hydro-electric and water supply project has been intensively surveyed, but its inception would depend on the conclusion of negotiations, hitherto unsuccessful, for the sale of power and water outside the territory