The Support to Farmers’ Organizations in Africa Program (SFOAP) will be ending in December after six (6) years of implementation. To this effect, SACAU held a workshop from 08 to 09 November in Johannesburg, South Africa, which took stock of the progress as well as lessons learned in the implementation process.
The five (5) participating members shared how SFOAP enhanced their performance and standing over the implementation period. They reiterated some aspects that have already been shared in previous issues of the newsletter. A notable increase was observed in their membership – collectively, the number of members increased from 3,572,350 in 2013 to 5,021,188 in 2018. An increase in membership is a good sign of the attractiveness of farmers’ organisations.
Transparency and accountability of these organisations improved as evidenced by the regular and consistent governance meetings that enabled the secretariats to report to their leaders and members
on a regular basis.
In addition, the level of representation of farmers’ organisations in agricultural related policy engagements at regional and national levels increased. SFOAP also successfully put in place mechanisms to empower women and young farmers through exposure and capacity development initiatives such as training and learning visits. These interventions have seen women elevated into various leadership positions in national farmers’
The young farmers’ forums have been instrumental in facilitating the sharing of experiences among young farmers and business to business linkages. The gains from the program are expected to continue contributing to the growth of the participating organisations over time, and subsequently to the development of the sector.