Agri-Hub Ethiopia (AHE), a platform, has organized an annual networking day on December 13, 2012 and invited interested organizations and individuals to participate on the workshop. I have attended the workshop- representing YPARD. The day long event was hosted in Harmony Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Around 60 members of the AHE were participated. It was started with the Agri-Hub coordinator Mr. Gerrit Holtland’s interesting brief on the AHE achievements in the previous year on different thematic areas such as: gender coaching, finance fair, rural business development services (BDS).
Following the brief on achievements, the Agri-Pro Focus facilitator, Wim Goris, presented the Agri-Pro Focus vision & mission, and its products which include: business and partners brokering (market intelligence), innovation communication, platform for debate and learning and networking.
Participants were asked to form working groups on thematic areas of their interest to work on. Four themes/groups were proposed by the Agri-Hub coordination and 3 were added by the members:
Ø Business Development Services
Ø Access to Finance
Ø Gender in Value Chains
Ø Cooperative development
Ø Contract Farming
Ø Technology, Expertise and Commercialization of smallholder
Ø Local sourcing / domestic market
I have joined the working group under the “Gender in Value Chain” theme, for it has a lot to be done in Ethiopia and considering YPARD as a platform. The group was composed of representatives from IICD, IIRR, Send a Cow Ethiopia, Africa Development Lead Association, IPMS/ILRI, Hunger Project Ethiopia, CASCAPE, Agri-Hub Ethiopia and Diary Development Ethiopia C for D Consulting.
The working group has discussed on priority issues &/or objectives to be addressed in 2013/14.
During the marketplace event different organizations presented about their business including what they are up to, their achievements, capacity and so forth.In the afternoon session Mr. David Kamukama, from ICCO, presented about the Food Security and Rural Entrepreneurship Fund which will start in 2013. With the Purpose: sustainable market based innovations in agricultural production and value chain. There will be two funding schemes, where:
Innovation fund: for innovative proposals in support of small holding farmers and
Matching grant fund: after the product have released and used.
Core tags that a fundable proposal should have: pro-poor, gender sensitive and environmentally friendly.
While the participating organizations are responsible for defining agenda in themes and activities, budgeting and mobilising, the content of planned event and report on progress and events, the Agri-Hub Ethiopia is only responsible for the learning agenda, as a platform.
Possible projects: developing innovative proposals with partner organizations where policy debates for youth agricultural professionals and Ethiopian youth farmer organization can contribute to the success of our future objectives on ‘gender in value chain’. Proposals in support of demonstrating new production technology, assist input supply, scaling up value chain cooperation, new out-grower scheme and disseminate the success and assist cooperative in accessing new market- with partners are also possible ways of fundable projects on which YPARD could make a deep impact in Ethiopia.