No school holiday was complete without being dispatched by my parents to a place they called our real home, back in the rural areas. My legendary fear of chickens, pigs, goats, and donkeys, let alone wild animals, made me a “city boy” and the subject of ridicule. These were the first, unknowing steps on my lifelong journey with smallholder agriculture. At least I can say I know where milk comes from— something that cannot be taken for granted these days.
I have traversed far and wide in my association with the agricultural sector, and I am now the chief executive officer of SACAU, a regional farmers’ organization. I guess I am involved in a special kind of husbandry—that of raising farmers’ organizations. I believe that developing innovative ways to organize African smallholder farmers is fundamental to helping them engage in an ever-growing and rapidly changing agricultural sector.
Ishmael Sunga is the Chief Executive Officer of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions