The Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) was founded in 1985 in response to the Ethiopian famine of the mid-1980s. Led and inspired by Nobel Laureate Dr Norman Borlaug, the ‘father of the green revolution in India and Pakistan’, SAA – funded by The Nippon Foundation – has run Sasakawa-Global 2000 projects in 14 African countries to increase and diversify their food crops and improve rural livelihoods. Policy advice to African governments is given by former US President Jimmy Carter.
Raitt Orr produces and distributes ‘Feeding the Future’ on a quarterly basis, an important information tool for the agricultural industry in Africa, and works to influence opinion-formers on the importance of agriculture in Africa.
A major symposium was organised by Raitt Orr in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2010 to honour the extraordinary life and achievements of Dr Norman Borlaug who, together with former US President Jimmy Carter and Ryoichi Sasakawa, helped to establish the Sasakawa-Global 2000 (SG 2000) in 1985.
Another major conference commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) was organised by Raitt Orr in November 2013 in Ghana.
In July 2014 the centenary of the birth of Dr Norman Borlaug was celebrated in Uganda with formal symposia at Makerere University, Kampala and in Jinja. The commemorative events also included competitions for farmers and schools, sponsored by Sasakawa. Raitt Orr was central to the organisation of these events.