A network of family farmers by farmers
The Southern African Agri Initiative (SAAI) is an agricultural interest network for farmers by farmers, which is committed to the protection and promotion of the rights, values, ideals and needs of family farmers in the primary produce sector.
Farmers must overcome a plethora of challenges, including land reform, safety risks, limiting trade measures, climate change and a lack of agricultural development, training, energy, resources, water, rural infrastructure, technology and access to finance. As an interest group it is the duty of SAAI to play an active role in the execution of active strategic solutions for this and other agricultural problems and not to merely rest on the hope of policy influence.
SAAI – as a vehicle to strive for this goal – is not a traditional agricultural union, but rather a network based on cooperation and the application of modern technology and pure principles.
Unite through collaboration
Cooperation agreements and mutual support with agricultural businesses, trade organisations, research institutions and agricultural organisations which focus on other support bases gives SAAI access to expert affiliates that enable us to put a wide spectrum of issues under the microscope. For this exact reason SAAI considers existing agricultural unions and organisations as partners in the achievement of our goal and strive to unite rather than divide.
SAAI views agricultural businesses and government as important role players in the promotion of the agricultural trade and will continually strive to promote cooperation with these parties, provided that it is in the interest of our farmers. The interests of farmers and the aforementioned is not always the same interest.
Farm the future
SAAI endeavours for an agricultural-friendly future and believes that our network must reflect this in essence and in structure. We make use of tailor-made digital technology for recruitment, providing mandates and business-directed actions. This enables SAAI to directly communicate with our members. Given the risks that farmers have to manage daily, it is a priority to keep them abreast of affairs that affect their interests and to equip them to, through collective action, promote their interests.
SAAI’s founding values
- We are unashamedly based on Christian values.
- We irrefutably believe in democratic principles without discrimination based on race, riches, age, descent, language or gender.
- Our liaison and relationships are based on mutual respect, without watering down or avoiding the centre of conflicting values, interests or needs.
- We believe that agricultural development and the entry of people, who did not previously have access to opportunities in terms of land ownership and commercial agriculture, must be based on fair, sustainable and free market friendly principles and practices, among which voluntary participation, free choice of partnership or association and market-related compensation.
- We acknowledge that poverty and unemployment are the biggest threats for stability and peace in South Africa and believe that the agricultural industry can play a great role in a business-friendly policy environment to bring these factors to order in rural areas.
- We campaign for the maintenance of the Constitution of South Africa in its current format, the national agreement, and all rights as contained in the universal Declaration of Human Rights as basis for policy and legislature to bring about inclusive economic growth and peace.
- We believe that wealth-creation through the application of free market principles and guaranteed private property rights is the cornerstone of economic growth and that it provides the only sustainable chance to create wealth and eradicate poverty.
We, the members and supporters of the network for family farmers called SAAI, commit ourselves to this manifesto and the execution thereof.