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SAAI and TLU SA enhance collaboration to protect farmers’ interests

On 8 December, the Southern African Agri Initiative (SAAI) and the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (TLU SA) signed an agreement to broaden, deepen and strengthen cooperation between these two organisations

TLU SA, the oldest agricultural union in Africa has been organising farmers since 1897. Prior to the launch of SAAI in 2019 as a network for family farmers in the framework of the United Nations decade for family farmers, a series of working group sessions ensured that the values and policy starting points of TLU SA and Saai were aligned to encourage collaboration.

For SAAI and TLU SA, the development of young farmers is a priority. The two organisations envisage supporting each other's initiatives to empower young and aspiring farmers. The agreement was signed as an outcome of the shared focus and value system from which several policy positions and projects have already arisen where TLU SA and SAAI have joined hands or joined forces to protect, promote or expand farmers’ interests.

Pressure on the state and the signatories to define the agricultural master plan more inclusively and realistically, on Landbank to stop aggressive extractions against farmers, or the rollout of solar power to limit farmers’ vulnerability to load shedding are some examples of that.

Shared viewpoints and projects between the two organisations bring together in numbers the largest voice of farmers on one platform. The power of representative numbers is important in policy influencing and the establishment of civil alternatives where the state fails the agricultural sector both in the policy environment and service delivery.