The workshop on the "Development of the Support Strategy and Action Plan for Livestock Farmers' Associations and Apex Organizations" was held at the Centurion Lake Hotel, Pretoria, from 28th – 30th April, 2014. In attendance at the opening ceremony was the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), Mr Johnson Bungu Marketing Advisor, representing the CEO of SACAU and eleven (11) invited delegates from SADC Member States (Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe) see Annex. The workshop was officially opened by Dr Baboucarr Jaw, the VET-GOV Project Officer, who represented the Director of Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). The VET-GOV Regional Coordinator delegated to SADC Dr Peter Sinyangwe assisted in the facilitation of the workshop.
The delegates at workshop were drawn from the National Livestock Policy Hubs and representatives of the Regional Farmers' Organizations (RFO) from SADC Member States (MS).
Cognizant of the inclination of regional farmers' organisations towards crops, there is a need for more clarity on the place of livestock in these farmers' organizations to enable better targeting of VET-GOV Programme interventions. This need informed the decision to commission consultancies on the assessment of livestock related capacity of regional farmers' organisations. The objective of the assessment is therefore to create a better understanding of the place of livestock in these regional farmers' organizations including the scope of issues addressed; capacity and internal arrangements in place to facilitate the engagement with livestock issues for future VET-GOV Programme support.
The specific objectives of the assessment are to:
- Map the regional producer organizations and describe how they have evolved in the last 10 years in form and functions/services provided
- Understand the current scope of work/issues being undertaken/addressed by the regional farmers organizations;
- Understand current institutional and governance arrangements in place in the regional farmers organizations to support livestock related work including horizontal and vertical linkages to national and international organizations;
- Understand the current livestock (by species/value chains and themes) related work (social, economic and political) being undertaken by the regional farmers organizations and strategies used
- Propose strategies to increase national and regional Livestock keeper organizations' role in the internal governance and functions of the regional farmers organizations;
- Identify capacity building requirements needed to support the regional farmers organizations to strengthen their lobbying activities towards livestock related issues e.g ensuring that livestock objectives are included in economic growth, food security and poverty reduction agendas.
The consultant, Dr Langelihle Simela presented the findings of the analysis study on Livestock Related Capacity and Institutional Assessment of Regional Farmers' Organizations for SADC, with the main focus on the SACAU affiliates.
The findings of the Study were discussed and observations made for the finalization of the report. The workshop came up with the following recommendations:
(A) National Level:
i) Policy issues at National Level;
- Support the availability of timely and accurate statistical data e.g. tax, duties, market trends and production information.
- Support input cost, value chain analysis and cost compliance.
- Production, productivity and meeting quality requirements.
- Competitiveness of local commodities and Niche markets development.
- Accurate calculation of cost of production and use information to lobby for policy influence.
- Support training in market price negotiations.
- Strengthen extension services.
- Farmer organisations should have an input in national research agendas for agriculture.
- Farmer organizations should enter into dialogue to influence the curriculum at higher education and research institutions so that they are relevant to national needs.
- Farmer organisations must have a structured platform for regular engagement with their government (and not on ad hoc basis).
- Support training in advocacy and lobbying for policy formulation and analysis skills.
- Farmer organisations should be involved from policy formulation through to adoption.
- Farmer organizations should be encouraged to participate in budget plenary and drafting processes so that their livestock needs and requirements are mainstreamed in the final national budgets.
- Out of the 10% budgetary allocation to agriculture agreed to in Maputo, a specified portion (30%) should be allocated to the livestock sector.
ii) Capacity building issues at National Level;
- Research institutions e.g. BFAP, ARC, Universities to assist in data collection and market trends; establish network linkages with AU-IBAR.
- Support Training in policy formulation & analysis, advocacy and lobbying.
- Strengthening of veterinary laboratory services and facilities; influence the training of veterinarians and paravets specific to the sector.
- Training of farmers and government officials on the latest techniques and skills specifically related to the sector e.g. Artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer (ET) technologies.
(B) Regional Level:
i) Policy issues at Regional Level;
- Regional/national trade/SPS platform committees established and strengthened.
- Investigate status of trade agreements (import, export levies);
- Regional trading and SPS
- Find areas of agreements
- Identifying markets
- Infrastructure (Roads, ports, railway network, cold chain, customs, communication, port of entries e.g. one-stop-shop)
- Access to genetic material
- Support buying regional to promote increased consumption ( branding etc)
- Review the current SPS agreements between member states
- Settings and compliances to OIE minimum terrestrial animal health code
- Animal health/welfare
- Labs, diseases and drugs
- Training (Vets and Farmers)
- Animal feeds; production
- Training of leaders on regional issues
ii) Capacity building issues at Regional Level;
- Training of leaders on regional trade/SPS and production issues.
- Investigate markets and access its viability (cost benefit analysis).
- Regional coordination of best practices.
- Enhance and promote competence of professionals in the sector.
- Create official plat form
- Resource mobilization
- Current livestock information.