This document is aimed at making members and potential members understand what organization they belong to or wish to belong to. It is also meant for individuals and organizations interested in knowing more about the ZNFU.
It is important for each member to read through this document because it explains the ZNFU Mission Statement, ZNFU background, ZNFU Membership guidelines and the ZNFU organizational structure.
2.0 MISSION STATEMENT OF THE ZNFU
The mission of the ZNFU is to promote and safeguarding the interests of members as farmers, individuals, corporations/companies and other organizations involved in the business of farming in order to achieve sustainable economic and social development.
This mission statement sets out the following:
- Ground rules for ZNFU activities
- Identifies not only what activities the ZNFU is in, but also the core beliefs or guiding principles that underpin its activities and where it is heading.
- All objectives and strategies of the ZNFU are derived from the mission statement.
When carrying out ZNFU activities, one important factor about the ZNFU is that it is politically neutral or non-partisan. The ZNFU has a strict policy requiring members to resign any leadership posts within the ZNFU upon entering national politics.
3.0 ZNFU BACKGROUND
Apart from churches, the ZNFU is one of the oldest associations in Zambia.
ZNFU has existed under various names almost since the first Large-Scale farms were established in Zambia in the early 1900s. Records show that a farmers’ association existed in the Eastern Province as early as 1905.
Before independence in 1964, the ZNFU was called Rhodesia National Farmers’ Union. After independence, the name became Commercial Farmers’ Bureau. By 1992, this name had become outdated and misleading. Until independence, the membership had been almost entirely confined to large-scale farmers. Since then, there has been a steady growth of small-scale farmers’ membership. This accelerated in the early 1980’s encouraged by a policy of keeping the annual subscription at a low level, and by an entry qualification which accepts any person or organization engaged in the business of farming in Zambia. The name was therefore changed in 1992 from “Commercial Farmers’ Bureau” to “Zambia National Farmers’ Union”.
The name signifies what the ZNFU has remained to be. It has remained and will continue to be a farmers’ organization defined in simple terms as:
“An organization made up of farmers and led by regularly elected leaders who are farmers as well”.
This definition distinguishes the ZNFU from other organizations working with or providing a service to farmers but are not owned by farmers. When one talks about the ZNFU, one is talking about farmers.
4.0 ZNFU IN THE REGION AND THE WORLD
ZNFU is linked to the following:
- Southern region farmers’ unions through Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU)
- ZNFU is a member of the Paris based International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) which unites farmers’ organizations worldwide.
5.0 MEMBERSHIP GUIDELINES
5.1 ZNFU Membership
ZNFU membership is available to farmers, individuals, corporations/companies and others however constituted, engaged in the business of farming in Zambia.
The ZNFU may also admit to membership any person or organization whose membership would in the opinion of the ZNFU is beneficial to the interests of the ZNFU.
5.2 Types of ZNFU Membership
5.2.1 Small-scale Farmers’ Associations
These are district farmers associations made up of pre-dominantly small-scale farmers. Each association pays an affiliation fee. The affiliation fee is normally raised from the association members.
Where there is external support in terms of a donor funded project aimed at strengthening the associations, the respective small-scale farmers’ associations pay a higher affiliation fee.
Once the affiliation fee has been paid, all members of the association become automatic members of the ZNFU. The association chairman is responsible for collecting and forwarding the affiliation fee to the ZNFU together with a list of members of the association. When joining the association or renewing membership, please ensure that the chairman issues you with a membership card and that he sends your name to the ZNFU head office in Lusaka.
It is a requirement that all individual farmers, farmers clubs and district sub-associations affiliate themselves to the ZNFU through the district farmers’ associations.
5.2.2 Large-Scale Farmers’ Associations
These are district farmers’ associations made up of both large-scale and small –scale farmers. There are only ten (10) such associations in the country. These are:
- CHONGWE RIVER (Lusaka East)
- COPPERBELT EAST
- COPPERBELT WEST
- LUSAKA WEST
In these associations, individual members pay a fee according to their turnover as ZNFU membership fees.
The membership fee is for all farm enterprises except for coffee, tobacco; and export vegetables and flowers as the fees for these ↓postage, local activities etc. The ZNFU requires that all farmers should belong to the local association before joining the ZNFU.
Anyone having problems to join should contact the ZNFU Head office on the address shown on the first page. The Head Office will give you information including the name and contact of the district farmers’ association chairman and other details.
5.2.3 Corporate Members
These are members who pay more than K5 million as membership fees. These members belong to what is known as the “ZNFU Corporate Club” and deal directly with the ZNFU Head office. Membership fees for corporate members are negotiable but the guiding factor is always 0.3% of turnover.
Although corporate members are a different category of ZNFU membership, they are encouraged to interact with local district farmers’ associations and commodity associations.
5.2.4 Commodity or Specialized Associations
These are associations specialized in a particular commodity or activity. They pay a negotiated amount as affiliation fee except for associations such as ZCGA, TAZ and ZEGA who are able to collect fees for a commodity through their structure on behalf of the ZNFU. Individual members of ZCGA, TAZ and ZEGA are required to pay fees for Coffee, Tobacco and export vegetables and flowers respectively, through the respective associations. Fees for other farm enterprises are paid directly to the ZNFU or through the area farmers association.
5.2.5 Agribusiness Chamber
In January 2004, the Agri-business Chamber of the ZNFU was proposed to and endorsed by the agri-businesses. The Chamber formed an additional category of the ZNFU membership. The Agri-Business Chamber of the ZNFU only deals with agricultural matters which the Union has always dealt with which affect also the agribusinesses such as matters discussed in ZNFU commodity committees or President Commodity Council meetings. The change meant that the relationship has now been formalized. Other issues specific to agri-business are handled through other business associations such as Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM), Millers Association of Zambia ((MAZ) and Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI).
Members of the Agri-Business Chamber are diverse and cut across processors, traders and service providers. The members of the agribusiness chamber pay a fixed amount of K10, 000,000 annually as membership levy to the union. With the Agri-Business Chamber in place, ZNFU has now assumed a role of representing the entire agricultural industry. This is not only a significant step towards enhancing the lobbying capacity but also leads towards an effective and efficient network of farmers, agri-business, government and other stakeholders that collectively see themselves as the Zambian agricultural industry.
5.2.6 Associate Members
These are companies or organizations that work with or provide a service to farmers. They pay a fixed membership fee and are not voting members.
5.3 ZNFU Membership Period
5.3.1 ZNFU Membership is from January to December of each year.
5.3.2 Full ZNFU membership fee is paid regardless of the time of joining because non-members benefit from ZNFU efforts. Farmers are advised to join earlier in the year. As an example, if one joins in November, he/she will be required to pay full annual membership fees for the current year and will be required to renew membership at full membership fee in January of the following year.
5.3.3 At anytime of renewing membership, full annual membership fees are paid.
5.3.4 Failure to renew membership by April of each year results in the suspension of the ZNFU newsletter and Zambian Farmer magazine although the member in question will still remain a ZNFU member. Members requiring individualized service are required to move with membership cards.
5.3.5 If membership renewal remains undone in June of every year, then the name of the member in question is removed from the ZNFU membership list.
5.4 Cessation of Membership
5.4.1 Any member may resign as a member of the ZNFU by giving not less than six months notice in writing to the Executive Director of the ZNFU of his intention to do so and on the expiry of such notice shall cease to be a member.
5.4.2 A corporate member who enters into Liquidation whether compulsory or voluntary (except in the case of a voluntary liquidation for the purpose of re-construction), an individual member who has an order of bankruptcy made against him or any member however constituted ceasing to qualify for membership of the ZNFU, shall on the happening of such an event cease to be a member of the ZNFU.
5.4.3 The ZNFU may expel any member whose conduct is such as shall in the opinion of the ZNFU be injurious to the character of the ZNFU or the interests of its members.
5.4.4 As mentioned in item
5.3.5 above, if membership renewal remains undone in June of every year, then the name of the member in question is removed from the ZNFU membership list.
5.5 Important Document for Members
When you join as a member or renew your membership, please ensure that you do the following:-
- You complete the membership forms. Information on this form is what is used when entering your name in the ZNFU membership database and is the basis for ZNFU to determine type of information to send to members and services to offer.
- Please attend all farmers’ meetings when called upon to do so.
- Please read through the circular that highlights the ZNFU achievements and benefits of being a ZNFU member.
If you are unable to get the documents mentioned above, please contact the ZNFU Head office.
6.0 FUNDING OF THE ZNFU
It is important to note that the ZNFU receives donor assistance which has so far been channelled to specific projects promoting conservation farming on the one hand and small-scale farmer outreach programmes on the other. Occasionally, donor assistance is received to deal with specialized issues through consultancy such as Trade matters, specialized research etc. The core business of the ZNFU and the services it provides, have continued to be funded primarily by farmers. It is this funding which allows the ZNFU to continue and it is the policies that the farmers embrace, which the ZNFU must generally lobby for.
7.0 ZNFU ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
To achieve its mission of promoting and safeguarding the interests of members and satisfy its definition, it is inevitable that the ZNFU’s structure achieves the following:
- The structure must be membership based
- The structure must allow for a wide representation of the members and must be highly democratic
- The structure must allow for a two way flow of information between ZNFU leaders and the general membership
The ZNFU is a highly democratic organization. All farmers’ associations are represented on the Council, which is the ZNFU’s highest policy making body. The farmers’ associations are represented through their chairmen who are elected at annual general meetings.
Also represented on the Council are chairmen of commodity committees concerned with dairy produce, pigs, wheat and barley, fruit and vegetables, grain and oilseeds. Each farmers’ association elects commodity representatives and then these commodity representatives from all associations form national commodity committees and elect their national commodity committee chairmen who represent them on the Council.
Commodity or specialized associations are also represented on Council by their chairmen who are elected annually. The commodity or specialized associations deal with tobacco, coffee, export crops, employment (farm workers), seeds, the environment, wildlife ranching, beef cattle, poultry, young farmers and women. In addition, representatives of corporate and agribusiness chamber members also sit on Council.
Associate members do not sit on Council but are invited to the Annual Congress of Council.
The President of the ZNFU or one of his two Vice Presidents chairs the Council.
Detailed administration is delegated by Council to a small Board of Directors which is also attended by the two trustees of the ZNFU. The President of the ZNFU or one of his two vice-presidents chairs the Board of Directors.
The President and the Board of Directors are elected at the Annual Congress of the Council from among Council members. The first vice-president is elected by Board members from among Board of Directors. The Second vice-president is appointed by the ZNFU President from among the Board of Directors. The two trustees are also elected at the Annual Congress of Council from among outstanding members of the ZNFU in particular and society in general.
The ZNFU Board of Directors is supported by a full time Secretariat headed by the Executive Director.
The function of the Council is to provide an official forum for the discussion of views and opinion of its constituent organizations and to direct the ZNFU in terms of policy.
The Board of Directors, served by the Secretariat, formulates policy and makes recommendations to the Council. The Board also responds to short term developments and makes decisions on an ad hoc basis whenever necessary.
The farmers’ associations, commodity associations and committees; Agribusinesses and the corporate club provide the forum for discussion of policy at the grassroots, commodity and corporate levels respectively. The results of these discussions are then presented to the Board (or its Secretariat), or to Council. Occasionally, the associations will act in an executive capacity to resolve local issues.
The structure of the ZNFU is illustrated below:
ZNFU GENERAL MEMBERSHIP
made up of Chairmen of Farmers’ Associations, Commodity associations and commodity committees; representatives of corporate members, agribusiness chamber and board members.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
made up of President, 2 Directors representing Farmers’ Associations, 2 Directors representing Commodity associations & Committees, 1 representative of corporate members, 1 representative of agribusiness chamber, 1 co-opted member. The two trustees of the ZNFU also attend the Board meetings.
8.0 COMMUNICATION WITH MEMBERS
ZNFU communicates with individual members through the newsletter, Zambian Farmer magazine, farmers meetings, correspondence and personal discussions. When you pay the membership fees, you should be receiving the newsletter and the magazine. If you do not, quickly contact the ZNFU Head office which will rectify the problem.
9.0 CONTACT WITH THE ZNFU HEAD OFFICE
For further details, please write to the:
ZNFU Executive Director
P O BOX 30395