Farmers may voluntarily be part of organised agricultural structures through local farmers’ associations and/or through commodity organisations.
At grassroots level, commercial farmers are members of their local farmers’ associations, through which they address local agricultural issues and liaise with officials and organisations on matters concerning their members. The farmers’ associations delegate members to represent them in their respective provincial agricultural unions. The provincial agricultural unions address matters affecting farmers in the province as a whole and liaise with higher organisations. The provincial agricultural unions in turn delegate members to represent them on national bodies.
Included in the category of Organised Agriculture are the commodity organisations which serve and represent farmers producing a specific commodity, e.g. maize, beef, cotton etc. Find contact details of these at www.agrisa.co.za (if you are a member) and on the relevant crop or livestock pages on the Agribook website.
Source: Agri SA (adapted)
International associations involved
- World Farmers’ Organisation – www.wfo-oma.org
- Cairns Group Farm Leaders – www.cairnsgroupfarmers.org
- La Via Campesina – http://viacampesina.org
- Find out about the most recent events in the region on the website of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) at https://sacau.org, as well as contact information for the organised agriculture bodies in the SADC region.
- Farmers are represented in the rest of Africa through Plateforme Régionale des Organisations Paysannes d’Afrique Centrale (PROPAC) from Central Africa, the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), the Réseau des Organisations Paysannes et des Producteurs Agricoles d’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA) in Western Africa, and the Union Magrébine des Agriculteurs (UMAGRI) in northern Africa. Visit http://infopropac.org, http://eaffu.org, and www.roppa-afrique.org for more information.
- A continental organisation for Africa is called the Pan-African Farmers Forum (PAFFO). PAFFO is made up from representatives from SACAU, PROPAC, EAFF, ROPPA and UMAGRI. See http://pafo-africa.org.
National associations involved
African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA)
To have competent and successful commercial African farmers of South Africa
To facilitate the development of African farmers in order to increase their meaningful participation in the agricultural sector
To create a sustainable united body of African farmers with capacity to influence policies through lobbying and advocacy in favour of African farmers.
- To facilitate development of competencies of African farmers in order for them to participate meaningfully in formal and informal markets.
- To mobilise resources for the benefit of African farmers.
AFASA like any other organisation, is a collection of individuals who come together for a common purpose. It is therefore crucial that AFASA espouses what it stands for in order to attract those similar values.
AFASA commits itself to the following values.
- To be led by people of high integrity in order to create trust, loyalty and confidence amongst its members employees and the public.
- To be transparent and accountable at all times
- To maintain high levels of professionalism at all times
- To respect the rights, culture and dignity of its members, employees and the public regardless of gender, race, class, tribe, political and religious affiliation or belief.
- To be a farmer centred organisation.
- To ensure that the organisation remains true to its mission and objectives.
- To strive for excellence including efficient and effective service provision at all levels.
A farmer owned organisation.
Unity about Agriculture
Agri SA promotes the development, profitability, stability and sustainability of primary agriculture in South Africa by means of its involvement and input on antional and international policy and the implementation thereof.
Agri SA, a federation of agricultural organisations, was established in 1904 as the South African Agricultural Union and consists of nine provincial and 24 commodity organisations. Essentially Agri SA, through its affiliated membership, represents a diverse grouping of individual farmers regardless of gender, colour or creed.
Agri SA’s policy advocacy includes work on trade negotiations, industrial policy, taxation, financing, land reform, labour laws, training, farmer development, environmental affairs, water rights and water pricing, other input-related issues, farm safety, law and order, infrastructure, technology development and transfer, statistical information and local government. Furthermore, the organisation maintains an extensive communication network with its members and other affected communities, organisations and individuals.
Agri SA is a member of high-level business, trade and agricultural entities including Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) and the Cairns Group Farm Leaders.
Agri SA communicates with its members via its two-monthly magazine, namely Agri (incorporating Die Boer/The Farmer) and an electronic newsletter. It is also responsible for programme content for an agricultural radio programme aired on RSG.
Agri SA is committed to the development of agriculture in South Africa. We are a non-profit organisation that is helping to develop a stable, profitable agricultural environment within this country. Our new website is fully mobile-responsive. Stay tuned to our web portal and our social feeds as we usher agriculture firmly into a digital age.
Affiliated Provincial Affiliations:
- Agri Eastern Cape www.agriec.co.za
- Free State Agriculture http://vrystaatlandbou.co.za
- Agri Gauteng www.agrigauteng.co.za
- Kwanalu (KwaZulu-Natal) www.kwanalu.co.za
- Agri Limpopo www.agrilimpopo.co.za
- Mpumalanga Landbou/Agriculture www.mpumalangalandbou.co.za
- Agri North West www.agrinw.co.za
- Agri Northern Cape www.agrink.co.za
- Agri Wes-Cape https://awk.co.za
The work of AGRI Enterprises, the commercial arm of Agri SA, is explained under the headings “Strategy; Operations; Impact fund; Training & Development; Sustainability & Innovation; and Industry Specific R&D”. Read more on the website, https://agrienterprises.co.za.
Many of the commodity organisations listed in the livestock, agronomy and horticulture chapters are affiliated to Agri SA.
An organised national agricultural organisation for the commercial farmers of South Africa
The union has its origins as the former Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU), which was established in 1897. It broke away from the South African Agricultural Union (SALU – now Agri SA) and in 2000 decided to extend its service area to include the whole of South Africa. With this decision, the named changed to TAU SA.
The objectives of TAU SA may be summarised as: To organise members of TAU SA in a united front for the benefit of commercial agriculture as a profession and the preservation of that cultural way of life.
Functions of TAU SA
Issues of importance to the agricultural community as a whole are in the hands of several committees, namely: Labour Affairs, Property Rights, Safety and Security, Energy, Conservation, Economic Affairs, Communication, Water Affairs, Education & Culture Affairs and Other. These committees function in a co-ordinate way to discuss problems and matters arising. Thereafter the necessary research and/or negotiation is done with feedback through the structure to individual members.
Several agricultural businesses and producer organisations unions are affiliated to TAU SA. Contact details of rregional representatives can be found on the TAU SA website.
Two-way communication through the structure to and from head office on communication mediums:
- Web pages – www.tlu.co.za Info regarding the services rendered by TAU SA as well as update press releases and international bulletins regarding relevant agricultural matters.
- TAU SA International Bulletins. A bi-monthly bulletin in English with facts regarding the situation in SA with its effects on agriculture and the economy. This bulletin is being sent via e-mail to several contacts abroad.
- TAU SA “Pitkos”. Every second week a “Pitkos” is sent to all members with e-mail in order to keep members updated regarding all activities of the organisation.
- TAU SA news. Advertisements/articles are placed in the different agricultural publications when regarded necessary.
- Radio Pretoria – “Protection of property rights”. 40 Minutes of airtime every second Tuesday with information regarding warnings on legislation, results and advice on agricultural matters.
- Weekly participation in programmes on community radio stations, Overvaal Stereo (Monday) and Radio Laeveld (Thursday).
- Media. Press releases and agricultural related articles are sent to newspapers, agriculture publications, radio and TV.
- Structure. Electronic communication is being promoted and is successfully in use.
Funding of TAU SA is mainly through membership fees, sponsorship by agricultural businesses as well as the successful managing of various funding projects to the advantage of members.
Agri All Africa http://agriaa.com
Agri All Africa represents South African farmers who operate elsewhere on the continent. Hear the inspirational talk Our vision as farmers: how to slay the dragon of poverty in Africa through wealth creation in agriculture.
Agri-Sector Unity Forum (ASUF)
The Agri-Sector Unity Forum (ASUF), a development in 2012, is an alliance to speak with one voice on issues that face agriculture as a whole.
Black Farmers Association of South Africa (BFASA) https://bfasa.co.za
Farmers United South Africa www.farmersunitedsa.org
National African Farmers’ Union of South Africa (NAFU SA) c/o National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC) https://nafcoc.org.za
Southern Africa Agricultural Initiative (SAAI) www.saai.org
Formed in 2019, Saai sees itself as “the family farming agricultural network”.
Websites and publications
Visit the websites listed earlier on this page.
- Manoko T. & Masiwa D. 2022, October 18. “Afasa reels after mass exodus of black farmers”. Food for Mzansi. Available at www.foodformzansi.co.za/afasa-reels-after-mass-exodus-of-black-farmers/
- Specialist Writer. 2019. “Nuwe landbou-organisasie in landbou” [new organisation in agriculture]. ProAgri. Available at www.proagri.co.za/en/nuwe-landbou-organisasie-in-landbou/
- Find the 2005 inventory and SWOT analysis of farmer organisations in the SADC region done by the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) at www.fanrpan.org/documents/d00049/Inventory_and_SWOT_analysis.pdf
Information for this page was supplied by the agricultural unions and/or their websites.
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