Swaziland National Agricultural Union (SNAU)






Address o the organisation: Mancishane Street, Office No.1,Ministry of Agriculture (Crop Promotion Unit),Manzini,Swaziland; P.O.Box 1735,

General e-mail

Phone number: +268 2505 9358

Name of the President or elected Chairperson:LUKHELE Absalom

E-mail address of the President or elected

Phone number of the President or elected Chairperson: +268 76151596

Name of the Secretary, Manager or Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Lwazi Mamba

E-mail address of the Secretary, Manager or CEO:

Phone number of the Secretary, Manager or CEO: +268 76058607


Social Media: Facebook


Geographical coverage

Geographical coverage: National (regions of Shiselweni, Hhohho, Manzini, and Lubombo).

Foundation and nature of the organisation

Date of creation: 6 October 2009

Context of creation: SNAU was established with the support from the Swaziland Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Union (SACAU) following the demand by farmers in 2007 at the National Agricultural Summit. At the summit, farmers strongly recommended the establishment of an independent apex body that would represent farmers, promote and safeguard their interests. The King tasked the ministry of Agriculture to promote this organization, which was created with SACAU support in 2009. 

Legal status:  SNAU was registered in the year 2009 as “an association not for gain” in accordance with the provisions of section 21 of the Company’s act of 1921.



Member organisations

Number of member organisations (for Unions or Federations): 7

Type of member organisations: regional and National Commodity Associations, National Cooperative Unions, farmers’ organizations (FOs) whose applications are approved by the Annual General Meeting.

Name of main member organisations:

  • Shiselweni Regional Agricultural Union (SHIRAU)
  • Lubumbano Lwebalimi Belubombo (LUBUMBANO)
  • Manzini Regional Agricultural Union (MARAU)
  • Hhohho Regional Farmers Association (HRFA)
  • Sembulelo Sakotini Farmers Association (SESAFA)
  • LUSIP Farmers’ Organization (LFO)
  • Komati Downstream Development Project Farmer Federation (KDDP-FF)

Individual farmers members

Number of individual farmers/rural producers members:10 468 (source: SNAU 2016)

Type of members: predominantly small holder farmers, 30% female, 70% male, 5% youth

Number of individual women farmers/rural producers members: 6126



Governing Bodies: Annual General Meeting (AGM), Board and Secretariat. The AGM is the supreme body of the Union. The Board of the Union which is under the leadership of the President reports to the AGM. The Executive Director who leads the Secretariat reports to the Board of the Union.


1. Commodity based associations:individual farmers affiliate to commodity associations at community level; community associations affiliate to regional commodity associations; Regional commodity associations affiliate to SNAU. Currently SNAU has 3 commodity based members (LFO, SESAFA, and KDDP-FF)

2.   Regional Unions: individual farmers are organized into platforms at Rural Development Area (RDA) level, but they affiliate individually to regional unions. Regional unions affiliate to SNAU. Currently SNAU has 4 affiliated regional unions (MARAU, SHIRAU, HRAU, and Lubumbano Lwebalimi Belubombo).



Strategic plan:  Strategic plan 2015 to 2018: SNAU’s strategy is based on four main strategic pillars: Institutional capacity and partnerships; Agricultural markets, finance and value chains; Production, productivity and diversification; Policy, education and advocacy.

Objective/s of the FO: The main objectives of SNAU are (i) to have a strong and vibrant farmers Union that is responsive to the members’ interest and needs, and to maximize service delivery; (ii) To create suitable market linkages for farmers, improve their access to finance and insurance products and to create and strengthen value chains for their produce; (iii) To improve farmers’ production and productivity, support diversification and build resilience against climate change; (iv) To improve members’ participation in agriculture policy development and understanding of the agriculture policies as they relate to farming, food and nutrition security and further integrate women and youth mainstreaming in agricultural policies and national development.

Mission and Vision of the FO: 

Vision. To be the driving force in the agricultural sector of Swaziland with vibrant, commercially sustainable enterprises by 2022.

Mission. To promote the creation of an enabling environment for farming enterprises through advocacy initiatives and influencing national policies relating to agriculture, ensuring that farmers’ needs are met and farmers are empowered.



Main areas/sectors of intervention: The aim of the SNAU is to promote and safeguard the interest of farmers in Swaziland by linking farmers with stakeholders, facilitating a favorable environment for production, access to land, water, markets, research and technology for improvement of their livelihoods

Main activities:

Lobbying and advocacy. SNAU has increased its involvement and influence in policy development processes at the national and sub-national levels.

  • The Support to Farmers’ Organisations in Africa Programme (SFOAP) has enabled SNAU to organize and/or participate in policy consultations, and to conduct policy studies that provided scientific evidence for SNAU to influence policies;
  • SNAU is a member of 11 working groups at the national level, and 4 working groups at regional level. This is an indicator that SNAU is developing into an organization that is effective in policy influencing and formulation;
  • SNAU has developed a solid relationship with the Ministry of Agriculture, which regards it as the main representative of small farmers and has appointed an Under-Secretary to lead the dialogue with SNAU;
  • In 2010, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) compact was co-signed by SNAU, who sits on the CAADP country team and is a member of the national technical drafting team of the National Agriculture Investment Programme, with the responsibility of disseminating information to farmers and to consult them;
  • SNAU is a member of the steering committees of the Swaziland Environmental Authority (SEA), the Marketing Investment Fund (MIF), and the FARNPAN (Food Agriculture and National Resources Policy Analysis Network). SNAU is also involved with FARNPAN in an initiative to support seed production;
  • SNAU sits on the Swaziland Agricultural Development Programme (SADP) Steering Committee, on the appraisal committee of SADP’s Market Investment Fund, and SADP committees tasked with the formulation of the new extension and research policies that encapsulate many farmers’ proposals;
  • SNAU is dialoguing with the Swaziland Economic Policy Analysis Research Centre on how to develop linkages between farmers, private service providers and buyers.

Economic services

  • Bulk Purchasing of Farming Inputs. SNAU organizes farmers and FOs and facilitates bulk purchasing of farming inputs. This initiative is beneficial to members because of shared costs of transportation. Depending on the quantity being purchased, it can sometimes even offer free transportation. Through the initiative, SNAU is able to negotiate for discounted prices with input suppliers. This means that participating farmers enjoy lower prices through the initiative;
  • Maize Block Project. SNAU implements a maize block project that seeks to improve maize productivity for 160 smallholder farmers in high maize producing areas of the country. Through the project, SNAU provides farming input loans to the beneficiaries of the project that are trained on production and business management. Through the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, farmers are mentored through production for effective crop management. At the harvesting stage, the beneficiaries repay their input loans through the harvest equivalent of the amount of the farming inputs received. Through the project implementation SNAU supported 101 farmers with farming inputs. As repayment for the input loans, SNAU collected 102 MT of white maize from the farmers, which was sold to the National Maize Corporation (NMC) at SZL2435.00/MT. SNAU has lured attention from stakeholders like the National Maize Corporation who have indicated interest to partner with SNAU in replicating the same model in other areas of the country. The NMC is willing to support farmers with farming inputs worth E70, 000.00 under the supervision of SNAU. The Minister of Agriculture having witnessed the hand-over meeting – during which Sigangeni farmers testified on the impact of the project on their food security – has not stopped mentioning SNAU in other agriculture forums i.e the national agriculture exhibition show;
  • Support to piggery cooperative. Under SFOAP, SNAU is providing support to a piggery cooperative to improve income for 200 smallholder pig producers in the Shiselweni Region. The project mobilize participation of men and women with special attention given to the youth. It also link farmers to service providers including financial institutions. SNAU’s project  is being implemented in collaboration with the Swazi Bank. It includes capacity building for leaders of the cooperative, entrepreneurship training, access to finance and markets and value addition. The SFOAP funds  are  used as seed fund to access more funding from the bank;
  • Access to markets.SNAU has developed linkages with the National Agriculture Marketing Board (NAM Board), an enterprise that commercializes a range of products, and has managed to shorten terms for payment to farmers. SNAU would now like to facilitate market linkages with a range of buyers from the private sector, also in connection with the supply of inputs;
  • Agribusiness. SNAU has a partnership with the Microfinance Unit (MFU) for improving farmer skills on agribusiness management. Through this partnership SNAU has commenced a Training of Trainers (ToT) programme in the 17 Rural Development Areas (RDAs) of the country with the aim of promoting farmer to farmer skills transfer. Currently, 35 ToTs who are members of SNAU have been capacitated on two intensive agribusiness modules, an activity which is on-going.

Main products of members:sugar cane, cotton, maize, fruits and vegetables, livestock, and poultry. 


Main partners: Agence Française de Développement (AFD), COSPE, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), European Union (EU), Ministry of Agriculture, Micro Finance Unit (MFU), National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAM Board), National Maize Corporation (NMC), Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC). Learn more on SNAU partners here.

Main projects:

  •  Support to Farmers’ Organisations in Africa Programme (SFOAP) (2013-2017) (IFAD, EU, SDC, AFD financing), a capacity building programme supporting the institutional development of farmers’ organisations. SNAU participates in the SFOAP as a member of SACAU;
  • SNAU has forged partnerships with COSPE and Technoserve for the implementation of food security projects that are funded by the EU. The projects are implemented in the Shiselweni and Lubombo regions with much focus on reducing food and nutrition insecurity through the promotion of agriculture commercialization. The name of the project is Promotion of Rural Opportunities in Swaziland (Pro-Swazi project) which commenced in 2013 and ends in 2017;
  • Swaziland Agricultural Development Programme (SADP) (2007-2011), FAO and EU financing. 

Membership in other organisations: SNAU is a member of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU). This has given SNAU an opportunity to learn from other farmers' organizations in the region through interactions in SACAU’s functions. SACAU was also instrumental in the establishment of SNAU by providing the foundational and critical capacity in both leadership and staff. SACAU also supported SNAU to source funding for the acquisition of essential human resources, equipment and tools to establish a secretariat and carry out initial activities.



  • AgriCord,, profile of SNAU. Availablehere
  • IFAD/SFOAP, Final Report of the SFOAP Pilot Phase,(including case studies/success stories)2013, Available here.
  • IFAD/SFOAP, SFOAP 2015 Report and 2016 Annual Work Plan and Budget. Available here
  • SNAU, Policy position paper on policies affecting land use. Available here.


Last update: September 2016