Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Connecting Farmers to the Agricultural Value Chains in southern Africa

On May 28-30, 2012, SACAU hosted its Annual Conference and AGM in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

The theme of the two-day conference was “Connecting Farmers to the Agricultural Value Chains in southern Africa” and aimed at fostering more structured relations between farmers and agribusinesses in southern Africa. 

CEOs and Presidents of national farmers’ unions from 16 countries in southern Africa attended. Key agribusinesses with a regional scope, such as SENWES, AFGRI, RUSELLSTONE, Massmart/Wal-mart, SAB Miller, Agribusiness Chamber and ABSA were invited to participate as well as regional institutions including SADC’s Trade, Investment, Finance and Industry (TIFI), COMESA and NEPAD. 

Presentations were made by some of the leading agricultural procurement agri-businesses and discussions focused on sharing some of key developments and issues related to value chains in Southern Africa Region.

The conference was aligned to SACAU’s aim to strengthen its relationship with agribusinesses and create an environment that allows farmers to be well informed about value chain issues with respect to trading/marketing, retailing, direct production, storage, financing, processing, input supply and others. Increased agribusiness activity can be a key driver towards the deepening and broadening of the commercialisation of primary production, and especially of the smallholder sector.

Core areas of agreement between farmers and agribusiness from the conference will be used by SACAU to develop its positions on the sustainability of agriculture, especially from the perspective of agriculture primary producers in the region.