The South African Farmers Development Association (SAFDA), which was established on 25 November 2015, is a registered not-for-profit development association of farmers.
SAFDA was officially recognized by the South African sugar industry at the end of December 2017, following a protracted two-year battle to gain official recognition following concerns raised about the plight of small-scale and land reform farmers.
Some of the key challenges that led to SAFDA’s formation was the decrease in number of small-scale farmers from 50 000 in the early 2000s to about 20 000 currently, as well as the lack of development and growth of land reform farmers.
The Association therefore sees itself as a case for South Africa’s economic transformation in the agribusiness sector and a home for all progressive farmers – black and white, small, medium and large.
While serving the business interest of all its members, the Association pays special attention to improving profitability and sustainability of small scale and land reform farmers.
At the heart of SAFDA’s focus area:
Land Reform and Small-scale Farmers
Grower Capacity Development
Bulk Buying, Diversification and Value-Chain Participation.
As part of its main functions, SAFDA offers economic research and business advisory services, grower training and development, lobbying and advocacy for policies thereby ensuring the sustainability of all its members.
SAFDA’s vision, mission and values focuses both short-term and long-term objectives
In the short term the focus is predominantly on the challenges facing small-scale and emerging farmers in the sugar industry. This can be traced back to the reason that SAFDA was borne – to be the voice for the voiceless and marginalized sugarcane farmers who felt excluded from effective participation in the traditional industry structures that have been in place for well over a century.
Below is the current sugar cane industry value chain which SAFDA aims to influence, to ensure that like-minded farmers can realize value from greater participation in each link of the value chain.