All SAA activities are focused on capacity building for human resources, such as farmers, extension workers and stakeholders along agricultural value chain including agro-dealers and local fabricators of agricultural machineries, as well as institutions such as farmer organizations (cooperatives, women groups etc.), universities, and agricultural extension systems. Capacity building is implemented through training sessions, demonstrations and workshops and it is the key to sustainable agricultural development.
Demonstration of hermetic storage of sorghum, Mali
Human resource development of extension workers
While SAA's activities are mainly on-site training, SAA also establishes partnerships with universities and colleges to support training of front-line mid-career extension workers and high school graduates.
By working together with partner institutions, SAA develops practical curricula across the entire value chain. Topics cover a range of subjects addressing the needs of rural communities, including climate change-responsive agriculture, gender, nutrition and communication.
This project was originally carried out by SAA’s sister organization, the Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension education (SAFE), since its inception in 1991. SAFE was merged with SAA in 2018 and now the program is carried out by SAA – it is currently implemented as a "SAFE program" in partnership with 30 Universities and Agriculture Colleges in 11 countries. As of 2021, over 7,000 students have graduated from the program and more than 2,000 students are currently enrolled.
The SAFE program produces easy to understand teaching material and modules, with students also learning effective teaching methods for farmers. In addition, practical research aimed at solving problems faced by rural communities, called the "Supervised Enterprise Project (SEP)," is an essential area of study for all students as SEP enables them to learn practical methods to address the needs of the communities.
List of partner universities and student statistics
Final year students of Bahir Dar University with lecturers and SAA staff during SEPs workshop, Ethiopia