The Southern African Confederation of Agriculture Unions (SACAU) has welcomed a new Board member to help drive its ambitious regional programme for agricultural growth in the region.
The new member, Mr Alfred Kapichira Banda from Farmers Union of Malawi was voted on to the Board as an Ordinary Board member at SACAU’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 26th which followed a two-day conference on “Future farming’ skills” which was hosted in collaboration with the African Farmers Association of South Africa and AgriSA.
Dr Sinare Sinare from the Agricultural Council of Tanzania and Mr Berean Mukwende from the Zimbabwe Farmers Union were elected Vice President and Ordinary Board member respectively. Both Dr Sinare and Mr Mukwende previously served on the Board which is chaired by Dr Theo de Jager.
SACAU also admitted new members. They are Fikambanana Fampivoarana ny Tantsaha (FIFATA) of Madagascar and Botswana Farmers’ Association (BFA).
The AGM resolved to continue supporting young agripreneurs by building on the momentum generated by its Young Farmers’ Forum and related initiatives at national farmer’ organisations. This is more fitting particularly in view of the need for a new generation of farmers with the necessary skills to be able to navigate the agricultural landscape of the future, an issue which was also emphasised at the future farming skills conference.
SACAU also resolved to work with members to better organise farmers to respond to the demands of the market as well as utilise its “convening power” to pull the different stakeholders to bring appropriate investments into the sector.
SACAU said it would collaborate with the private sector and others to recognise and showcase successful farmers at annual gatherings.
SACAU also hosted a conference on land tenure security in collaboration with We Effect from 22nd -23rd May 2017. This conference was officially opened by South Africa’s Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr Gugile Nkwinti.
The Minister noted that South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) viewed agriculture as critical to employment and food security with the potential to create a million jobs by 2030.
Discussions during the conference alluded to the need for harmonisation and alignment of statutory and customary laws and their administrative and institutional arrangements, involving and supporting young farmers and recognising that tenure security by itself doesn’t lead to transformation and subsequently requires more support.
Furthermore, efforts by the African Union (AU) in addressing land issues, including tenure security and gender were recognised. Thus, the conference appeals to the AU to find more effective ways of disseminating and engaging the countries on land issues.
“We are proud to have successfully hosted our AGM and conferences in South Africa this year,” says SACAU CEO, Mr Ishmael Sunga.
“The next step is to follow up and implement the outcomes of the conferences,” adds Mr Sunga.