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Press release: Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) Annual Conference and 2009 Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Issued on behalf of the SACAU
20 April 2009


Mr Douglas Taylor-Freeme of the Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe was elected president of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) at its Annual General Meeting held in Durban, South Africa, on Friday last week.

Mr Taylor-Freeme was formerly SACAU's vice-president to Mr Ajaykumar Vashee, who left the office after six consecutive terms. Mr Vashee, who is the president of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP), was unanimously bestowed the honourary presidency of SACAU.

Mr Abiel Banda of the Farmers Union of Malawi and Mr Motsepe Matlala of the National African Farmers' Union of South Africa were both elected to the position of vice-president. The other elected board members are Mr Raimar Von Hase (Namibian Farmers Union) and Mrs Effatah Jele (Zambia National Farmers Union).

The new SACAU board has balanced representation from both small and large-scale farming sectors.

Lesotho National Farmers' Union (LENAFU) was admitted as a new member of SACAU, bringing total membership to 14 members in ten countries in Southern Africa - nine members representing predominantly small-scale farmers, four members representing predominantly large-scale farmers, and one member representing both.

The SACAU annual general meeting adopted resolutions on a number of issues including climate change, food aid and aid for trade as they relate to agriculture in Southern Africa.

Land and gender issues within the agricultural sector, were among the matters identified as focus areas for the coming years.

The SACAU Annual Policy Conference, which preceded the SACAU AGM on 15 & 16 April 2009, was attended by more than 60 participants from the ranks of SACAU, RECs (Regional Economic Communities), the African Union Commission, civil society and the donor community in Southern Africa.

The conference's presenters were drawn from scientists, trade lawyers and SADC officials. The presentation and discussions focused on climate change and agriculture in the region, agricultural trends, SADC regional agricultural policy, aid for trade and food aid and agriculture in the region. It was funded by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Editors' note

SACAU was established in 1992. Its secretariat is based in South Africa and membership is open to national farmers' unions and regional commodity associations in Southern Africa.

SACAU is involved in agricultural development in the region through strengthening the capacities of farmers' organisations, by providing a collective voice for farmers on regional and international matters, and by providing agricultural related information to its members and other stakeholders.

Membership

Currently SACAU has 14 members from 10 countries in Southern Africa:

Botswana Botswana Agricultural Union (BAU)
Lesotho Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU)
Madagascar Coalition Paysanne de Madagascar (CPM)
Confederation des Agriculteurs Malagasy (FEKRITAMA)
Malawi Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM)
National Smallholders Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM)
Namibia
Seychelles Seychelles Farmers Association (SEYFA)
South Africa Agri South Africa (AgriSA)
National African Farmers Union (NAFU)
Tanzania Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT)
Zambia Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU)
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (CFU)
Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU)


SACAU also has an MoU with UNAC of Mozambique and has started working with the Swaziland National Agricultural Union (SNAU).

For further information, contact:

Mr Ishmael D Sunga, CEO. Tel +27 (0)12 644 0808, Sel +27 (0)82 944 4480, e-mail
Ms Stephanie Aubin, Tel +27 (0)12 644 0808, Sel +27 (0)78 256 9988, e-mail

End

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