The SACAU Chairman, Dr Sinare Sinare, led a six-member delegation to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) headquarters for the closing workshop of the main phase of the Support to Farmers’ Organizations in Africa Programme (SFOAP) which ran from 2013 – 2018. Other members of the delegation were the SACAU Vice Chairman, Mrs Doreen Hlatshwayo, Chairman of Coalition Paysanne de Madagascar, Mr Hajasoanirina Rakotomandimby as well as Mr Ishmael Sunga, Mr Jean Bosco Rurangangabo and Mr Benito Eliasi from the Secretariat.
The SACAU delegation joined other regional farmers’ organisations (RFOs) from east, west, central and north Africa and the Pan African Farmers’ Organisation (PAFO) to share and discuss achievements, challenges and lessons of SFOAP. The meeting also discussed elements of the new proposed program that will also aim at consolidating some of the achievements of SFOAP.
The new program is expected to run from 2019 to 2023. The gathering noted that SFOAP main phase played a very critical role in strengthening the capacities of FOs in African countries. This was one of the few programs that dedicated resources to support and cover the cost of core staff and core activities of FOs.
Reports from all the RFOs point to the fact the programme has strengthened the FOs at national and regional levels and services provided by the FOs to their members has greatly improved. The program has also assisted FOs to integrate smallholder farmers in value chains.
Despite the achievements, it was noted that the program also encountered various challenges among which were; slow pace in resource mobilisation by most FOs to sustain the activities of the program and inflexibility in the implementation of activities of the program.
The meeting also noted that partnerships enabled cost effectiveness of implementing activities as well as avoidance of duplication of effort, resources and time.