ZNFU has remained as only organization in region that has united both small and large scale farmers under one umbrella. This is envied in the region and serves as a shining example. With the union Agribusiness chamber in place , ZNFU has now assumed the role of representing the entire agricultural industry in Zambia.
District Farmer Associations
The District Farmers’ Association (DFA) is a legal entity with its own elected governing Executive Committee. There are two categories of DFAs ;small scale and large –scale farmers’ DFAs with small –scale DFAs representing more than 80% of the total DFAs affiliated to the union. Large scale DFAs are a mixture of large scale and small scale farmers but only in few cases where the membership is predominantly large scale. In terms of affiliation fees to the union, the small scale DFAs pay a fixed annual fee, while individual members of the large scale DFAs are levied directly by union , in collaboration with the DFA leadership, at a small percentage of the turnover.
Commodity /Specialization Associations
The commodity or specialized associations are commodity or activity based association as a way of their identity. Individual members of these association pay a levy pegged at a small percentage of the turnover of the respective commodity. The levy is collected ,on behalf of the union ,by the respective commodity associations. A number of commodity committees have also been established for important commodities and these committees are viewed as the genesis of a commodity association.
Corporate members include large business companies involved in the business of farming. Sometimes ,these are multinational who operate at a very large scale level. However ,corporate members may also include individual farmers provided their size of operation entails paying a minimum subscription fee equivalent to that of corporate members.
Another category of members is the associate members. These are non voting members but are members by virtue of their businesses which in one way or another services the agriculture industry. An example of such members is financial institutions. Members in this category pay to the union a fixed amount of subscription fee per annum.
In January 2004,the Agri-business chamber of the ZNFU was proposed and endorsed by the Agri-businesses .The main reasons for establishing the Agri-business chamber were the following.
- The union had been inevitably jointly working with agri-business sector and the relationship needed to be formalized .
- In a liberalized economy, the role of government in business is minimal. The producer and agri-business have to work as strategic partners.
- If farmers and other stakeholders in the industry do not cooperate and reach consensus on cross –cutting issues, the government will always receive conflicting signals.
- The move to set up the Agri –business chamber was also based on experienced of well performing agriculture union in other countries .
Individual members of the Agriculture chambers pay a fixed annual subscription fees to the union.