The Pan-African Farmers' Organization (PAFO) was created in November 2010 by its constitutive general assembly, and subsequently recognized as the new representative body at the highest continental level. The general assembly culminated a process that had begun five years ago in partnership with the five regional networks of FOs – EAFF, PROPAC, ROPPA, SACAU and UMNAGRI – and NEPAD on issues of integration at the continental level. The consultation process emphasized a need to organize farmers and agricultural producers, effectively engage members in advocacy, and promote their participation in the formulation and implementation of continental development policies that affect agriculture and rural development. PAFO is Africa’s first continent-wide FO and is an important instrument for rallying direct farmer engagement on Africa’s growth and development agenda.
With the support of the pilot phase of SFOAP, PAFO has participated in more than 48 international and continental advocacy, lobbying and negotiation meetings on agriculture and rural development, enabling the organization to increase its visibility and to be recognized by key partners as an important player in the policy arena. PAFO actively contributed to strengthen its partnership with the African Union in the framework of NEPAD/CAADP and with other international partners including IFAD, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the European Union (EU) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). PAFO also seats in the Steering Committee of the Farmers’ Forum at IFAD.
PAFO’s five-year strategic plan (2012-2017) defines the strategic vision of the organization as well as its main objectives, including:
(i) to represent FOs and African producers at continental and international levels;
(ii) to defend the rights and social and economic interests of African farmers and producers and their organizations at continental and international levels;
(iii) to promote solidarity and partnership between FOs and African producers;
(iv) to build common points of view on the main challenges concerning access to food for the population,the development of modern and competitive agriculture and the preservation of natural resources;
(v) to share information, experiences and knowledge in all fields of agriculture and rural development;
(vi) to increase understanding and consideration of deepest values of African agriculture;
(vii) to contribute to the promotion of trade of agricultural products and African regional economic integration;
(viii) to influence agricultural policies and strategies at continental and international levels for a better consideration of the African farmers’ interests.
The Executive Officer of the PAFO was recruited in 2015 and the seat of the organization will be soon established in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).
The PAFO will have an important responsibility to ensure farmers’ interests, needs and aspirations continue to be reflected and acted upon in Africa’s agriculture development initiatives, and this key strategic document will guide the work of PAFO in the years to come.