Throughout its 25-year history, SAA has enjoyed the strong and constant support of the Nippon Foundation, Japan’s largest private philanthropic organization. To date this support – for both SAA and SAFE – has exceeded US $210 million.
In 2008, SAA launched a drive to diversify its funding sources and increase annual budgets by at least 50% by 2012 and 100% by 2014. It is on track to meet these targets.
Recent new donors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – an amended grant of US $7.2 million over four years to strengthen Ethiopia’s extension services. The grant provides support for groups that have not been well-served by government extension services in the past – including women, very poor farmers and pastoralists.
Two agreements have also been signed with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Government of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) organization. The first, for 50 million yen (US $650,160) over three years from October 2010, is being used to improve agroprocessing skills in nine cooperatives in three Ethiopian provinces, enabling more women to acquire the necessary skills to run their organizations successfully.
The second project for 100 million yen (US $ 1.29 million) – signed in July this year – concentrates on rice production and processing over four years in Tigray province, one of the poorest regions of Ethiopia.
These projects are part of the JICA Partnership Program, through which JICA encourages cooperation activities for local people with Japanese development partners in developing countries.
Other partners include AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa). In the first project, SAA is a sub-contractor to the Institut d’Economie Rural (IER) of Mali to encourage the uptake of microdosing fertilizer technology in sorghum and millet and to assist farmer organizations to link with commercial markets for their surplus production. In the second AGRA project, this time directly granted to SAA, addresses post-harvest losses and prevention in the Sikasso region of Mali.
A further partnership venture in Mali, with USAID-supported INTSORMIL CRSP (International Sorghum and Millet Collaborative Research Support Program), involves the scaling up of millet production and market intensification in Ségou region.
In Nigeria, SAA has been working with USAID-MARKETs in Kaduna State to organize and train outgrower farmers in a scheme designed to produce raw material (maize) for a major oil mill involved in food and feeds processing. In addition, four northern Nigerian states – led by Adamawa and Jigawa – have signed memoranda of understanding to support local SG 2000 projects with approximately US$ 200,000 per year per state. Other states have pledged to follow suit in 2011.
In Ethiopia, Mali and Uganda, the innovative World Food Program – Purchase for Progress (WFP-P4P) collaborates with SAA to use WFP’s purchasing power to offer commercially-oriented smallholder farmers opportunities to access agricultural markets, starting with the WFP local and regional purchase program.