SAA and its SG2000 country programs work in close collaboration with national agricultural extension services in Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda to support smallholder farmers along agricultural value chain in terms of food security enhancement and livelihood improvement. SAA’s sister organization – the Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) – specializes in building the talents and skills of national extension staff in collaboration with agricultural departments of different universities in Africa.
Since 1986, SAA program has changed the lives of millions of smallholder farmers. The culture and spirit of SAA is perhaps best encapsulated by the last words of late Dr. Borlaug, a Nobel Peace prize laureate and was one of the founders of SAA. Even on his deathbed, Dr. Borlaug remained vitally interested in what science can do to improve the lives of resource-poor farmers, and when one of his last visitors was describing to him a promising new technology, Dr. Borlaug’s only comment was “Take it to the farmer!” His admonition reflects the life he led, and defines clearly the enduring ethos of the organization he helped found.
SAA envisions a more food-secure rural Africa with increasing numbers of prospering smallholder commercial farmers. Vision, Mission and Theory of Change can be found here.
SAA started as an international non-governmental organization registered in Geneva and now it is operating as a general incorporated foundation in Japan. Its structure is based on a matrix management model, which reflects both its thematic and country-level focus.
The foundation of SAA dates back to the early 1980’s, when a number of African countries were struggling to cope with worsening hunger caused mainly by prolonged drought. SAA’s brief history since its establishment in 1986 until the recent structural change can be found here.
SAA is governed by the Board of Directors and Board of Councillors. The Board of Directors is chaired by Hon. Prof. Ruth Oniang’o, a founder and Editor in Chief of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development (AJFAND).
About 150 staff are now working at SAA in Africa to improve food security and livelihoods of farmers under leadership and supervision of the Senior Directors. The list of Directors can be found here.