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AFSTA was formally established on March, 2000, during an inaugural congress in South Africa where Kenya was elected as host country for the Secretariat.

The African Seed Trade Association arose out of a need to have a regional representative body for the seed industry, which could also serve to promote the development of private seed enterprises.

A range of African and international stakeholders commenced discussions early in 1997. This developed into a preparatory meeting held in Malawi in April 1999 where an Ad Hoc working group was nominated.

The group developed a draft constitution, by laws, and budgets, which were finalized at a meeting in Kenya in August 1999. AFSTA now has a diplomatic status. Currently, our membership stands at 97.