WHAT WE DO
Corresponding with SAA’s mission, vision and strategic goals, and given a rapidly changing natural, economic and political environment in Africa and the world, SAA has adjusted its approach to extension to reach more marginalized poor farmers faster and in a cost effective manner. Five themes listed below have been established to address the whole value chain of technology transfer and to improving extension advisory services for African smallholder farmers
We now emphasize a more integrated approach to extension, one in which improving crop productivity (Theme 1) goes hand-in-hand with increasing the effectiveness of post-production handling and marketing (Theme 2). We are also giving greater emphasis to exploring and promoting the development of new public-private partnerships (Theme 3), through which greater opportunities for bolstering extension services and reaching farmers will arise.
Advanced education for mid-career front-line extension specialists has never been more important, and we rely on the Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) to implement Theme 4, human resource development. Moreover, it has become abundantly clear that we must clearly document the impacts of our work going forward. We must monitor, evaluate and learn from our activities, and use the information we garner from our assessments to guide decision-making and investments within the organization and share our learning with other development organizations and governments (Theme 5).
We have also shifted our focus to reaching smallholder farmers who have not previously received much if anything in the way of agricultural extension services. These marginalized farmers – who generally are very poor and mainly women – have in the past been excluded from mainstream extension programs. Food security is the first order of business with such farmers, who are more risk adverse and less able to engage in commercial agriculture.
Recent research has confirmed that extension training and crop demonstration programs can produce their greatest impacts when focused on smallholder women farmers and resource-poor producers. Gaps in information about productivity enhancing technology are the greatest there, and it is from these groups that the largest returns at the margin can be achieved.
SAA has recently developed a Strategic Plan (2012-2016), as a valuable tool to guide future activities for our organization in collaboration with our partners. The plan is an outlook on what we are seeking to achieve within the next 5 years and details of how we envision accomplishing these goals.
SAA History Book
"Take it to the farmer"
Electronic version of SAA History Book is available here.
SAA Success Stories
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Newsletter of the
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