Lesotho has a wide variety of light industries, which include, among others, tire retreading, tapestry weaving, diamond processing, and production of textiles, shoes, electric lighting, candles, ceramics, explosives, furniture, and fertilizers. The apparel-assembly sector is growing rapidly. Manufacturing depends largely on agricultural inputs to support milling, canning, leather, and jute industries. In the 1980s, the Lesotho National Development Corporation promoted industrial development in the production of fruits and vegetables, tires, beer and soft drinks, parachutes, steel, and wire. In 1991, Lesotho inaugurated a television assembly plant.
In the early 2000s, there was growth in the manufacturing sector of the economy. Industry held a strong average annual growth of 10% between 1988 and 1998, and accounted for 38% of GDP in 2001. The major industrial contributor in 2000 was the Highlands Water Project. Lesotho has no known oil or natural gas reserves. Oil exploration took place in the 1970s, but those efforts were unsuccessful and exploration ceased.