Thursday, November 22, 2012

This report of Farmers' Dialogue activities was presented by Hajji Ssebalu Jamil, Coordinator of the African Farmers’ Dialogue, during the AGM of the African Farmers' Dialogue held near Nyahururu in Kenya on 7 November 2012.

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I take this opportunity to give an overview of Farmers' Dialogue (FD) in Africa

This conference has four activities running together. These are:

  • Kenya Farmers’ Dialogue
  • The Training of Trainers.(ToT)
  • African Farmers’ Dialogue AGM
  • Launch of the Farmers’ Dialogue International Constitution.


I wish to tell you something about the Africa Farmers’ Dialogue (AFD).

The African Farmers’ Dialogue as part of Farmers’ Dialogue International (FDI) is part of the worldwide organization of Initiatives of Change (IofC).

Six African countries are represented namely Kenya, Tanzania, DR. Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Somalia and Uganda.

Hajji Ssebalu Jamil during the Farmers' Dialogue Training of trainers in Kenya (Photo: Mbindyo Kimanthi)KENYA
  • We have run so many farmer capacity building and training courses.

  • We have hosted the Farmers' Dialogue training for trainers.

  • The Kenya Farmers' Dialogue has launched the IFD Constitution. We thank the Kenyan team for this.

Way forward: -

  • Support projects owned by FD members

  • Involve Manor House in Kenya FD.

  • Has been able to complete the constitution. We are just waiting to receive it from the authorities.

  • Has been able to run 10 farmer’s meetings across Tanzania from Tanga, Arusha, Moshi, Dodoma and Mbeya. It is close to 1,200 kms from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya.

  • The Tanzania team is vibrant and working well.

Way forward: -
  • The East African Team should visit Tanzania in Jan 2013. The purpose being to help them begin to prepare for Tanzanian National Farmers’ Dialogue to be held in Dar Es Salaam in 2014.

  • Now that Martin Simtenda has joined the Skype communication group, communication will be improved.

Hajji Ssebalu Jamil (Photo: Mbindyo Kimanthi)

  • Congo will host the International FD 2013 in November. The activity will be in KIVU Province, Bukavu town and preparations are well under way.

  • More Congolese have been mobilized to join the team.

  • We have agreed that Mr. Claude Bourdin goes to Rwanda on 13 November to break ground for the organization of the Farmers’ Dialogue International (FDI) in November 2013. He will assist in the early preparations for the dialogue.

Way forward: -
  • The East African Team will visit Congo in Feb. 2013 to follow up on preparations.

  • Congo will also manage a small dialogue involving the planning team and the East African Team to pave way for the FDI in November 2013.

  • The experience of Mr. Bisusa Alphonse and Mr. Bagawa Bahati in FD activities has given them valuable experience to manage the FDI.

  • Rwanda held both the FD ToT and IFD 2011. Both were very successful.

Way forward: -

  • We must encourage Rwanda FD.

  • We are grateful for the effort done by South Sudan in linking up with the FD.

  • In Caux in Switzerland last year there was a request for a Caux Forum in South Sudan. In this it was strongly noted that FD would feature prominently.

  • Pieter Horne and Nambolero Kanyire from South Africa, Amina Dikedi from Nigeria and Mike and Jean Brown from Australia have visited South Sudan. A common action is being planned to take place in South Sudan in April 2013.

Way forward: -

The Sudan FD Constitution is in place and we shall be glad to send a delegation to South Sudan for the launch any time we are invited.

  • Farmers Dialogue has made an outreach into Somalia. Here we have been in contact with Hassan Mohamud and Dr. Hashi from Mogadishu.

  • We planned to bring Dr. Hashi to the ToT here in Kenya but it was not successful.

  • It is great to have Hassan here with us now.

  • Between Namasuba College of Commerce and FD Somalia, there is an educational training programme being discussed and hopefully, we will get results of the same.

Way forward: -
  • To encourage Somali people to get involved in FD activities

  • Create free movement for FD members of Somali Origin

  • Give information to Dr. Hashi the FD Coordinator in Somali and FD activities so that he is able to inform others.

  • The Farmers’ Dialogue has been recognized by National Agricultural Advisory Services. This is a big step forward.

  • We have participated in a number of agricultural activities e.g. National Agricultural shows in Jinja and District Agricultural Shows in other districts.

Way forward: -
  • Support all FD projects. These are owned by FD members

  • Run a capacity building training for FD members in 6 Districts all in the North that was affected by the war.

Looking ahead: -


  • Burundi and Cameroon, both countries have expressed interest in becoming involved with Farmers’ Dialogue.
  • Unfortunately FD has not yet given or been able to do much in these two countries.

Way forward: -

  • We need to develop a mobilization plan and in this we will be able to strategically initiate and develop FD in these two countries.
  • Help countries create a balance between FD and IofC activities. At times there has been some confusion between objectives.


  • This country was runner up in hosting the International Farmers’ Dialogue next year. They are ready to organize the activities in 2015 but would need to be guided through the process since the team from Mayotte has only attended one Africa Dialogue.
  • Much as they need the Dialogue, they would need to understand the dynamics of both IofC and Farmers’ Dialogue.

Challenges: -

  • Funding Accountability
  • Communication
  • Capacity Building
  • Team Building
  • Advocacy

General way forward: -

  • Improve accountability and transparency in both the Western and the African Teams
  • Improve self-funding so that we do not always look at the Western for funding.
  • Improve communication. The success of the International Skype Coordination Groupis good. The beginning of an African Skype group will be very welcome.
  • David Curtis and Zoryana Borbulevych have done a tremendous Job in the ToT in Nyahururu, Kenya. We will need to do more of the same.
  • We have created FD teams in various countries but will have to do more to make them sustainable.
  • In terms of advocacy we will need to account for all the work of Farmers’ Dialogue to the local and International partners.

Conclusion: -

In the last two years the African team has been able to mobilize more than 1,000 farmers in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

We do see a great need for us to keep talking to the farmers and helping them to achieve the objective of linking up farmers.

In the training and meetings, we have tried to strengthen the Farmers’ Dialogue management teams in these countries and I do appreciate and thank them for their team work.

For this next term my focus together with my team, is on D.R. Congo, Cameroon, Mayotte and Burundi. We would like to see them come on board. Please help us to do this?

I want to thank the Kenyan Team led by Julius Khakula for the marvellous performance that has been here. You have scored 100%.

I want to thank the International Team led by Jim Wigan for all the support and the financing.

I thank all the participants for the time, the contribution and the sharing.

Africa, this is our time. Let us get back to work.

My very best regards,

Hajji Ssebalu Jamil
oordinator – African Farmers’ Dialogue