2016 SFOAP Supervision mission in Southern Africa

The third IFAD supervision mission of the SFOAP main phase in the Eastern Africa region took place from 14th to the 24th August 2016. The objective of the mission was to critically review the implementation of the Programme by SACAU and their national member organisations (NFOs) and to review progress against the recommendations of the Mid-Term Review. The mission also aimed at providing any implementation support possibly needed by the regional organisation, and mapping out the domains in which further support might be needed.

The team was composed of the SFOAP Analyst and Financial Management Consultant, and was accompanied by representatives from SACAU.

The mission spent 7 days in South Africa, where consultations were held with the SACAU President and Secretariat, and 4 days in Namibia, where the mission met with the Namibia National Farmers’ Union (NNFU) Secretariat, the Ministries of Agriculture Water and Forestry, and of Land Reform, the Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB), the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA), Agribank, and the European Union delegation, amongst others. The team also participated in a one-day field visit to the Omatako constituency, where consultations were held with the Regional Councillor, traditional leaders including the area Chief, the local extension officer and members of the Kambekura Farmer Association (KFA).

According to the mission the implementation of SFOAP activities by SACAU is moderately satisfactory. Activities have proven to be relevant, are responding to the needs of the NFOs, local FOs and have had a positive impact on farmers and their organisations, especially in terms of institutional strengthening. The business entity approach followed by SACAU and the NFOs should help to ensure financial sustainability and independence, and the focus on youth and ICT is commendable. Also, practically all MTR technical and fiduciary recommendations have been or are being implemented.

The main challenge is to ensure that the NFOs and local FOs are in a position to continue their growth and are capable of attracting financing from private and public sources, as well as from their own members. As such SACAU was recommended to accelerate the pace of implementation of component 3 (Provision of economic services), in order to complete activities by early 2018. This will allow SACAU to focus on the capitalisation of lessons learnt before the end of the programme.

In terms of the implementation of activities under the different programme components, under Component 1 – Institutional Strengthening SFOAP contributed to the organisation of a SACAU Board meeting, Annual General Meeting (AGM), Annual conference, and Young Farmers’ Forum. At the national level, SFOAP supported 17 board meetings and 2 AGM’s for their members in Lesotho, Madagascar, Swaziland and Seychelles.

The SACAU secretariat was found to be appropriately staffed, with respect to the delivery of SFOAP activities, although there has been a high turnover in terms of the finance department. The activities are well coordinated at regional level by the SFOAP focal point, and adequate technical support is being provided to NFOs.

Also resource mobilisation is an integral part of the activities of Component 1, whereas the NFOs were tasked with undertaking a donor mapping exercise to explore funding opportunities. SACAU has also provided technical support for the drafting of project proposals for the Swaziland National Agricultural Union (SNAU) and has jointly submitted a proposal with the Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT) to mobilise funding from the European Union.

Under Component 2 – Policy engagement, in 2016, the 6 NFOs participating to the Programme organised 46 consultation meetings and attended about 117 meetings at the national and international levels. These include ACT’s annual policy workshop, the Africa Drought Policy Conference held in Windhoek, Namibia, and SACAU’s youth forum, amongst many others. Furthermore, SNAU trained their board members and secretariat staff, with the aim of improving their skills to effectively lobby and advocate for priority issues affecting farmers.

Under Component 3 – Provision of Economic Services, the most common business model used by the NFOs is to create a commercial entity that can act as a service provider. SACAU established the SACAU Development Enterprises (SDE) through which it plans to offer a range of services, which will also help to reduce dependency on external funding.

In 2016, NNFU, ACT and the Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU) have been analysing and planning for their activities. In particular, NNFU finalised the feasibility study commissioned in 2015, on the integration of southern communal farmers in the livestock value chain and they are now in the process of identifying initial activities. The Coalition Paysanne de Madagascar (CPM) continued supporting the 3 maize production cooperatives they formed last year. These cooperatives allowed their members to access better quality inputs and larger markets. In addition, the 3 cooperatives are now part of a maize marketing platform set up by the IFAD project PROSPERER (Support Programme for the Rural Microenterprise Poles and Regional Economies), through which they are also supplying the World Food Programme. SNAU is continuing to support pig producers to develop business plans in order to access credit from the national bank, SwaziBank. As of June 2016, SNAU had trained 43 producers, of which 23 ultimately decided to develop a business plan. However, only 8 of the 23 proposals have been financed to date. Finally, the Seychelles Farmers Association (SeyFA) is finalising the establishment of the commodity focussed business entity which will create collection and distribution centres for farmers produce.

Please consult the full report from the mission by downloading the document below.



from 14/08/2016 to 24/09/2016
Thematic Areas: Access to Services, Capacity Building, Gender, Knowledge Management, Markets and Value chains, Monitoring and Evaluation, Natural resources, Policy Dialogue
Region: South Africa