Six national farmers’ organisations (NFOs) namely; Coalition of Farmers in Madagascar (CPM); Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT); Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU); Seychelles Farmers Association (SeyFA); Swaziland National Agricultural Union (SNAU) and the Namibia National Farmers’ Union (NNFU) met in Centurion, Pretoria, from 21st to 24th November 2017 to report on their achievements on SFOAP program as well as share their plans for next year. Such meetings are organised every year and they are a very good platform for learning among the NFOs. The meeting in Centurion was attended by the head of secretariats of the organisations involved and their financial personnel. It was encouraging to note the progress these organisations are making in their respective countries regarding promoting and defending the interest of farmers. For example, Twenty-six (26) statutory meetings (AGMs and Board meetings) were collectively conducted by all FOs. SeyFA and LENAFU recorded the highest numbers of these meetings (8 meetings each). On average 36% women participated in these meetings out of the anticipated 40% participation level of women. LENAFU and CPM had the highest number of women participating in the statutory meetings (each with 50% women participation). All the participating FOs received unqualified audits for the 2015 financial year and this is a commendable achievement.
Total number of invitations collectively received by participating FOs was four hundred and ninety-seven (497) with CPM and ACT receiving the most totalling to two-hundred and thirteen (213) and one hundred and nineteen (119) each respectively. Out of these, the number of meetings attended was two hundred and seven (207) with ACT attending one hundred (100) of these meetings. In addition, the NFOs are members of 50 strategic committees in the agriculture sector in their respective countries with SNAU and ACT claiming lion’s share of 19 and 14 respectively. Invitations, attendance of meetings and participation in strategic committees is a proxy indicator of credibility and importance of these FOs in their respective countries.
The Support to Farmers’ Organisations in Africa Programme (SFOAP) is implemented by the five regional farmers’ organisations (RFOs) in Africa namely; Eastern African Farmers’ Federation (EAFF); the Plateforme Sous-Regionale des Organizations Paysannes d’Afrique Centrale (PROPAC); Reseau des Organizations Paysannes et de Producteurs agricoles de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA); SACAU and Union Maghrebine et Nord Africaine des Agriculteurs (UMNAGRI) and the Pan African Farmers’ Organisations (PAFO).