They therefore had to immediately contend with ensuring that the members were receiving appropriate services, while at the same time urging that policies provided for such services to be available on a broad scale.

On the whole, the farmer organisations in South Africa have raised the concerns of the smallholder farmers to appropriate authorities. However, concrete proposals of how exactly the government should address farmer capacitation issues have perhaps been lacking. The farmers’ organisations have often reacted to how existing and new government farmer support and development programmes (such as Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development [LRAD], Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme [CASP], Micro-Agricultural Finance Schemes of South Africa [MAFISA], extension services and recapitalisation fund programme for land reform beneficiaries) have not been effective in providing the intended support. The attempt to influence farmer support has thus largely been reactive to programmes rather than proactively influencing the formulation of policies that yield these programmes.

Limited funding has probably been the principal stumbling block, curtailing the organisations’ ability to influence policies accordingly, and, e.g.