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.

Vision: Thriving rural communities – thriving rural economy

Mission: To work towards farmer driven partnerships for transformation, development and sustainability of all farmers and the enhancement of rural economies.


Strategic Pillars:

Key strategic focus areas

  • Transformation: Favourable sugar industry dispensation which supports integration of black growers into meaningful participation in decision making. Whilst its initial focus is on transforming the sugar industry, SAFDA has already been approached by other commodities to drive the transformation agenda’s is their sectors.
  • Land reform: SAFDA is a credible and dependable facilitator of strategic partnerships between current large scale, land reform, small scale growers and agribusiness. SAFDA has a signed MoU and SLA with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The SLA appoints SAFDA to provide various forms of support to land reform farms (production, extension, agronomic, business and governance).
  • Grower development and capacity: Enhancement of agronomic, business leadership and management capabilities for all farmers. 
  • Grower financing: 100% grower owned development funding entity to leverage finance for farmers.
  • Bulk buying, diversification & value chain participation: Grower owned companies to embarking on the businesses of bulk procurement of input supplies and implements, provision of contracting and cane haulage services. Diversification into cash crops and high value crops.

Achievements thus far

When SAFDA got recognition by the sugar industry it set out to deliver a series of much needed immediate changes for the benefit of all growers. 

These included among others, stemming the influx of imported sugar  by approaching the Presidency and ITAC to motivate for an increase in the import tariff.

SAFDA’s pursuit of transformation resulted in the industry adopting what can be regarded a plan for immediate transformation interventions, with a monetary value of R200 million, which will be implemented retrospectively from 1 April 2018. 

In order to lower the cost of production, SAFDA has established a number of entities, which are wholly owned by the farmers. The intention is to enter the value chain and thereby lower .the cost of inputs and services to our farmers. SAFDA has thus far undertaken the following initiatives:

SAFDA Fertilizer. SAFDA has established a fertilizer company to blend and supplier farmers with fertilizer. This has resulted in black farmers enjoying lower prices for fertilizer

SAFDA logistics. SAFDA has established a logistics division with 305 trucks to haul cane to the various Mills in Kwazulu-Natal. This has reduced the cost of haulage in some regions by R40 per ton, resulting in increased revenue to our famers.

SAFDA Diesel. SAFDA has embarked on bulk buying of diesel for farmers and has established several depots across the Province. This has resulted in farmers realising a saving of R1 per litre in some of the regions.

SAFDA Farm Management Services. A farm management services company has been established to assist farmers with their farming operations. The aim is to bring efficiencies to their farming operations.