August came and went, and time continues to fly by so fast. In this issue, we highlight to you some of the things that kept us busy and your feedback would be most welcome as usual. At the end of this month, the Board of SACAU held its first meeting since the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held in May. Three key decisions were made by the Board, the first being the appointment of a woman farmer leader from one of our members onto the Board. This development is in response to the outcome of the AGM elections which saw the only woman on the SACAU Board leaving and not being replaced.
The Board had to intervene to address this retrogressive development by using its prerogative to appoint as enshrined in our constitution. The newest Board member will be formally presented once all the necessary formalities have been concluded. Secondly, the Board proposed amendments to the constitution relating to cessation of membership, members’ fees, and the rights of members not in good standing. These will be circulated to members for their consideration.
Finally, the target date for the launch of SACAU’s agri-agency was agreed. This will be at the 2018 AGM which will be held in Zimbabwe. This decision followed a workshop of the Board and Secretariat on the matter which reviewed ongoing support from Agriterra and related developments, among others. Back to our day to day activities, members of the Women Farmers’ Forum met in Tanzania where they were trained in leadership and negotiation skills and visited a farm of their fellow farmer in Dar es Salaam.
Representatives of dairy associations from the region and some of our members went to Kenya for their annual Regional Dairy Meeting where they had the opportunity to learn first-hand on the dairy sector of that country. I invite you to catch a glimpse of these events in this newsletter. Without touching on our representation function, our work would not be complete. We participated in two regional events where we got insights into the climate outlook for the coming rainfall season and contributed to the development of a regional investment plan for COMESA.
We also finalised preparations for our participation in the 2017 African Green Revolution Forum in which we are a partner and spread the word on the event as the countdown to this began. We look forward to the opportunities that this will bring to the farming community in the continent and to our young farmers’ ambassadors, some of whom will be joining us as we journey to Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire!