2017 Supervision mission in Southern Africa

The fourth IFAD supervision mission of the SFOAP main phase in Southern Africa took place from 18th to 27th October 2017.


The mission particularly focused on assessing the progress of SFOAP activities and achievements, and exploring opportunities for collaboration with IFAD and donors’ country programmes and initiatives.

The team was composed of the SFOAP Analyst and Financial Management Consultant, and was accompanied by representatives from  Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU).

The mission spent 3 days in Swaziland and held consultations with technical staff from the Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT), the Coalition Paysanne de Madagascar (CPM), the Lesotho National Farmers’ Union (LENAFU), the Seychelles Farmers’ Association (SEYFA) and the Swaziland National Agricultural Union (SNAU), who all came to Swaziland to meet the mission and present their SFOAP activities. In Swaziland, the mission also met with Swazibank and the Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise, and visited the Shiselweni cooperative. The mission then spent 7 days in South Africa, where consultations were held with the SACAU Secretariat.

Overall, the mission highlighted that the activities implemented by SACAU and their members have proved to be relevant, are responding to the needs of the national and local farmers’ organizations (FOs), have had a positive impact.

Also, SACAU’s current Strategic Framework (SF) is coming to an end in December 2017, and the organisation is developing a new one. The new SF will include support to a new structure for FOs, moving from the association model to the cooperative model, where possible. The cooperative model would allow organisations to undertake for-profit business activities, which will help them ensure long-term sustainability and reduce dependency on external financing. The new framework will also focus on young agri-preneurs, which will also ensure that the next generation of farmers are well versed in business development and management, which in turn should also support the commercial viability of these smallholder farmers. Similarly, SACAU has already established a commercial branch, the SACAU Development Enterprises (SDE) through which it plans to offer a range of services.

Notwithstanding progresses, with 16 months of implementation left before the completion of the programme, there is an urgent need to expedite the rate of expenditure, particularly under component 3 – provision of economic services.

In terms of the progress of activities under the different components, one notable achievement of the support provided under Component 1 – Institutional and organisational strengthening, is the continuous improvements of the quality and timeliness of the reports submitted by the national FOs. Also, they are now holding regular statutory meetings, which was not always the case in the past, and reflects major improvements in governance.

Despite efforts made, resource mobilization is an area that continues to be a challenge for the majority of participating FOs.

Under Component 2 – Policy Engagementover the years, the support provided by SFOAP has contributed to making FOs central players in the development of agricultural policies in their respective countries and in the region. This is clear from the Logframe outcome indicators, which show that the overall solicitations to national FOs to participate in policy consultations has increased exponentially, going from 247 invitations in 2014 to nearly 500 in 2016. Similarly, FOs are now much more present in specific working groups or policy task forces. In fact, in 2013 NFOs were present in only 41 of these working groups, but as of August 2017, the same national FOs were part of 78 working groups combined.

As previously mentioned, the financial achievement rate for Component 3 – Provision of Economic Services, remains low. In order to generate a critical mass of experiences at the national level and facilitate exchanges and knowledge management, SACAU have thus developed a plan for activities.

At the national level, national FOs are implementing their projects. For example, SNAU is implementing the Shiselweni Piggery project whereby, in partnership with the Swazibank, it provides access to business loans for pig producers. For this project, the Government of Swaziland contributed to 85% of the collateral requested by the bank, while SFOAP contributes 8% and the farmers 7%. Furthermore, SNAU provides support in business training, marketing and governance.

To learn more, please consult the full report from the mission by downloading the document below.

from 18/10/2017 to 27/10/2017
Thematic Areas: Access to Services, Capacity Building, Gender, Knowledge Management, Markets and Value chains, Monitoring and Evaluation, Natural resources, Policy Dialogue
Region: South Africa