In the late 1970s and early 1980s, an increasing number of African countries were struggling to cope with worsening hunger caused mainly by prolonged drought. Ryoichi Sasakawa (the founder and former Chairman of today’s Nippon Foundation) responded by providing food aid to several of the hardest hit countries. But it was clear to him that food aid provided only partial and temporary relief, so he reached out to Nobel Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug and to former US President Jimmy Carter in search of a more sustainable solution to Africa’s food challenges. His vision was for a Green Revolution in Africa, similar to that in the Asian Subcontinent that was sparked by research done by Dr. Borlaug on higher yielding wheat varieties, and he was prepared to fund the long-term effort needed to achieve it.
SAFE is a product of two development imperatives:
Effective extension delivery systems in sub-Saharan Africa that are based on farmer needs and demands along the entire agricultural value chain, with special focus on poor and marginalized farmers, most of whom are women.
To promote more effective, demand-driven agricultural and rural development advisory services through appropriate training of mid-career advisory staff and by strengthening agricultural education institutions in sub-Saharan Africa to develop and sustain responsive formal continuing education programs.