Spar, Shoprite supporting local farmers in Swaziland
The Swazi Observer - Feb 7th 2012, 09:12
SPAR and Shoprite are some of the giant retail outlets that source vegetables from farmers affiliated to the Swaziland National Agricultural Union (SNAU).
SNAU Manager Zanele Phiri said other farmers sold their produce to the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBoard). She said SNAU encouraged farmers affiliated to them to be commercial and consistent so as to keep their markets like Spar. Phiri said all farmers affiliated to them were active.
“SNAU directly deals with and helps farmers in all the regions of Swaziland. The organisation gets help from the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA), the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Union (SACAU) and technical assistance locally. SACAU was also instrumental in the establishment of SNAU by providing the foundational and critical capacity in both executive and staff leadership.
“SACAU also assisted SNAU to source funding for the acquisition of essential human resources, equipment and tools to establish a secretariat and carry out initial activities,” she said.
Phiri said SNAU was also a member of SACAU which grouped together national farmers organisations in the South African Development Community region (SADC). She said this has given SNAU an opportunity to learn from other farmers organisations in the regions through interactions in SACAU’s functions.
Adding, she said SNAU also wants to forge partnerships with other stakeholders such as the Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project (LUSIP), the Cooperation for the Development of Emerging Countries (COSPE). Phiri said these organisations could assist in providing technical assistance to SNAU.
“The Swaziland National Agricultural Union acknowledges the effort of stakeholders in contributing towards achieving the current national development agenda in the agriculture sector hence partnerships will be pursued. In total, the agricultural organisation boasts of 1 468 members from 78 associations, commodity groups and cooperatives,” she said.
Phiri said SNAU was established through support from the ministry of agriculture and SACAU following a demand made by farmers in 2007 at the National Agricultural Summit.
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