SAA conquered AFSTA 2020

May.1.2020

Dr. Bidjokazo Fofana and Mr. Ande Okiror received visitors at the booth and addressed SAA’s mission, vision and core values
Dr. Bidjokazo Fofana and Mr. Ande Okiror received visitors at the booth and addressed SAA’s mission, vision and core values
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The African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA 2020), though overshadowed by COVID 19 global pandemic, was colorfully hosted at Avani Victoria Falls Resort in Livingstone, Zambia from March 3rd to 6th, 2020.

AFSTA is a non-profit membership association formed in 2000 to champion interests of private seed companies in Africa. It is registered in Kenya as an International Organization. Currently, the Association has 100 members comprising of seed companies and National Seed Trade Associations, among others.

At the venue of the event, Sasakawa Africa Association’s (SAA) set up an exhibition booth which featured different promotional, awareness creation materials and publications. The booth received delegates from 20 countries and was also visited by Hon. Micheal Katambo, Minister of Agriculture of Zambia and AFSTA President Hon. Riadh Gabsi. SAA social network platforms were instantly updated and entertained a positive response from the global audience.

The team also attended sessions which dealt with seed-related topics and emerging issues such as; seed statistics, seed trade, treatment and regulation in AFSTA member countries, and updates on management of Fall Armyworm (FAW) and Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) etc.

SAA was among few of the non-profit agricultural extension organizations represented at this key event. The wide range of activities it covers across the value chain approach has attracted a significant number of guests to the booth. Besides being a point of display, the booth had also served as a platform to hold round table discussions with potential donors and other organizations that are interested to widen their scope in SAA focus countries i.e. Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, and Uganda. Dr. Bidjokazo Fofana, Director of the Crop Productivity Enhancement and Mr. Ande Okiror, Regional Program Officer, Business Development had fruitful deliberations with Seed CO, a prominent market seed developing company which offers seed varieties to African farmers and donors.

The round table discussion also entertained HAZERA Seed, a well-known company which breeds, develops, produces and markets varieties and seeds in a wide range of vegetable crops around the world. Hazera operates in all SAA countries. Similarly, delegates of SAA held a successful deliberation with representatives Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The two parties conferred on ways to strengthen partnerships and deliver quality agricultural extension services to smallholder farmers of Africa.

In addition to addressing vision, mission and core values of SAA, AFSTA 2020 paved the way to create and strengthen alliances with key actors in agriculture.

According to organizers of the event, Marrakech, Morocco will host AFSTA 2021.
AFSTA background source: www.afsta.org

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