Promoting Farmer Entrepreneurship


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Header photo: Creative Commons, Neil Palmer (CIAT)

Posted By in AgriProFocus Rwanda
Posted 17 hours 12 min ago

2015 AgriProFocus Rwanda day Event, a success!

The AgriProFocus Rwanda network Day event took place on the 25th March 2015 at Chez Lando Hotel and participants enjoyed a day that comprised of activities of celebrating what has been achieved in 2014, what is planned in 2015 (presented by 7 Innovation Communities) and Networking & Marketplace sessions!

This yearly event brings together AgriProFocus Rwanda network members. This year, the event was attended by 110 participants. The meeting was facilitated by Mr. Anatole Majyambere, Assistant Coordinator at AgriProFocus Rwanda.

The Network Facilitator for the Rwanda, Indonesia and Benin country networks, Mrs. Lisette van Benthum, kicked-off the workshop by giving the current updates from AgriProFocus Netherlands. Mrs. Lisette then introduced Mrs. Esperance MUKARUGWIZA, the AgriProFocus Rwanda Coordinator who also gave the current picture of the Rwanda network, by presenting the 2014 achievements and plans for 2015.

Innovation Communities

... Read more

Posted By in Gender in Value Chains Zambia
Posted 1 day 18 hours ago

Gender Makes Business Sense!

Second Gender Coaching Trajectory starts with Musika

On March 25th and 26th in Siavonga, AgriProFocus kicked off the second Gender Coaching Trajectory with Musika. The participants are agribusinesses including Syngenta, Munzuma, Vet 24, ATS Agrochecmicals, and Keegy. The companies see an opportunity to have gender inclusive business strategies to improve the growth of their business and corporate social responsibility.

The coach introduced tools that will support the businesses to strengthen their knowledge and ability to see their value chain from a gender perspective. The businesses worked on value chain analysis from a gender perspective; analysed different cases that showed different strategies to mainstream gender, and finally each business developed their own action plan.

The workshop was a great success, and the members shared a lot of new insights and are now ready to implement the tools in practice.

I would like to thank the participants and thank Mu

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 3 days 20 hours ago

Inclusiveness pays back; business arguments for gender and youth inclusive value chain development

By Angelica Senders, network facilitator gender in value chains AgriProFocus

Contribution to the on- line consultation ‘Promoting inclusiveness in the Dutch policy agenda on trade and international cooperation, on Include knowledge platform.

Inclusive development is not only in the benefit of those previously excluded, but also makes optimal use of capacities of a broader range of people. There are serious business arguments for including women and youth in economic development. Dutch policy should promote inclusion of women and youth in business partnerships by actively supporting systematization and dissemination of experiences illustrating the business case for inclusiveness.

This has been proven in the coffee sector where the inclusion of women has had positive results.

Women form the majority of the world’s estimated 25 million coffee farmers, yet coffee is seen

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Niger
Posted 1 week 18 hours ago

Business cocktail AgriProFocus Niger

AgriProFocus Niger a organisé le jeudi 19 mars 2015 un business cocktail à son siège. le cocktail a vu la participation des organisations non gouvernemental (Oxfam, SNV, PUM, Prodex), des institutions bancaires (Banque Agricole du Niger), des représentants des organisations paysannes (AREN,CAPAN,Mooribeen,FCMN Niya, ANFO), des entreprises privés (laitière du sahel, Froni) et des Communautés d'innovations (la CI agroforesterie, la CI valorisation des produits locaux).

l'ouverture du Business cocktail a été faite par la coordinatrice adjoint AgriProfocus Niger, qui a souhaité la bienvenue aux participants et les a remercié de leur présence. Après s'en est suivi le discours de la facilitatrice du réseau AgriProFocus Niger. Dans son discours elle a parlé de la dynamique du réseau AgriProFocus aux participants, ensuite du changement d'organisation hôte après avoir vivement remercié Oxfam au nom d'AgriProFocus et de la Direct

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Mali
Posted 2 weeks 13 hours ago

Le Salon du Financement de l'Agriculture FINAGRI s'est tenu en présence de 40 exposants, 200 participants et 3252 visiteurs du 5 au 7 mars 2105.

Il a été inauguré par le Minsitre de l'Investissement et de la Promotion du Secteur Privé. 

Le Salon a été fortement médiatisé avec deux passagaes aux éditions du soir des journaux télévisés de l'ORTM le 6 et le 8 mars, un reportge sur la presse écrite le 7 et 10 mars. Nous avons été aussi invité dans l'emission Actu-hebdo de la télévision malienne le 8 mars pendant 1h. 

Au total, il y'a eu :

 beaucoup plus d'institutions fiancières que lors de la première éditions. 

16 communications, lors des conférences thémtiques, sur la problématique deu financement de l'agricultureont fait l'objet d'echanges et de partage,

 des séances B2B prometteurs pour les porteurs de plans d'affaires (une plus grade confiance des banques), 

et une présence remarquée de notre colégue du Bénin Marcel Coffi  D

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Hedwig Bruggeman Felicitations

1 week 4 days ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 2 weeks 3 days ago

Our Plans for 2015!

We have the pleasure to present to you the AgriProFocus Corporate Annual Plan. Our 2015 emphasis is on Farmer Entrepreneurship for Inclusive Green Growth. Besides context and reflection it represents a summary of the AgriProFocus country plans. We have also prepared a summary of the Annual Plan, containing only our key messages and planned deliverables for this year.

2015 is a special year as we are celebrating our 10th anniversary. Since its foundation in 2005 AgriProFocus has built up a considerable track record. It has been able to mobilize and facilitate tens of thousands of stakeholders in various countries. AgriProFocus and the country networks are widely recognised as an independent entry point for debate, learning and agricultural business development. On the other hand, it is too soon yet to be content and sit back. As a reader of this article I am sure that you look ahead to a challenging future with eagerness and enthusiasm.

First priority for the

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Rwanda
Posted 3 weeks 14 hours ago

On Thursday, March 05th 2015 at Grand Legacy Hotel – Kigali was held a workshop to disseminate the findings of the study: Finance for Smallholders: “Opportunities for Risk Management by Linking Financial Institutions and Producer Organisations’’; the study was initiated in early 2014 by the NpM (Platform for Inclusive Finance), in cooperation with the Food & Business Knowledge Platform and AgriProFocus. It was carried out in 4 countries: Mali, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia.

NpM has worked with AgriProFocus for a number of years on the topic of rural finance. Joinltly, the working group and AgriProFocus have coordinated the content of this research with the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP), CGAP, Rural Finance and Innovation working of the European Microfinance Platform, Agriterra and Wageningen Univeristy. Terrafina Microfinance coordinated the working group.

A total of 33 people were present in this workshop, with 14 being from Financial Institutions and Donor organ

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Kevin Asinde Dear Didier, We at Amarin Financial Group are linking farmer groups to available low interest loans in Uganda. We are working in the area of inclusive finance for both personal and commercial finance. How can we join the Platform for inclusive finance?

2 weeks 4 days ago 1

Didier MUYIRAMYE Dear Kevin, thank you for your message. The NpM Platform is made of 13 members including social investors, commercial banks, co-financing organisations, but unfortunately, they are all from the Netherlands (see: I think they are also planning to present the study findings in Kampala, so may be you can link up with the AgriProFocus Uganda Coordination team and ask if you can participate in the workshop. Best, Didier

2 weeks 4 days ago 1

Kevin Asinde Thank you. Didier

2 weeks 3 days ago

Lisette van Benthum Dear Kevin, as soon as the study is ready for publication, we will post it on-line. Also as soon as a date has been set for the presentation in Uganda, we will announce the event on the platform. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact AgriProFocus Uganda and their Access to Finance Innovation Community for additional information and activities.

2 weeks 3 days ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 4 weeks 1 day ago

The first Food & Business Knowledge Platform newsletter of 2015 has been sent out! 

In this newsletter the Platform proudly presents the new website section featuring all Food & Business Research projects funded by NWO-WOTRO. Other items of interest include news from various partner networks as well as upcoming events. Of special interest is the article about the Kenyan Horticulture and Food Security Programme, as AgriProFocus Kenya was leading on the knowledge management of this programme in which Solidaridad, SNV and Hivos as well as the Dutch Embassy were key partners.

Please follow this link to read the complete fourth newsletter of the Platform.

The next edition will be published by the end of March: please click here to subscribe to the F&BKP newsletter.

By visiting the Platform's website (  and following the Platform's twitter account you can stay informed of all the developments and opportunities for you to join the Platform and contribute

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Vincent Mangeni Thanks Nicole for the heads up.

4 weeks 19 hours ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 1 month 2 days ago

(in Dutch only)

AgriProFocus in samenwerking met het YEP Water programmabureau en het Food & Business Knowledge Platform zoeken een senior voor de functies:

AgriProFocus Agrofood networkfacilitator & YEP Agrofood projectmanager

(36 uur per week)

AgriProFocus faciliteert landennetwerken in opkomende markten en ontwikkelingslanden met het doel boerenondernemers en hun organisaties te versterken door samenwerking tussen boeren en markten, verwerkers, kennishouders en banken. De lokale netwerken van AgriProFocus in 13 landen zorgen ervoor dat professionals elkaar online en face-to-face kunnen ontmoeten en dat alle schakels van de keten samen kunnen komen.

AgriProFocus zoekt voor 20 uur per week een Agrofood netwerk-facilitator die vraag en aanbod aangaande kennis, kunde en partnerschappen komende uit de AgriProFocus landennetwerken kan verbinden met Nederlandse en internationale Agrofood bedrijven.

Het Young Expert Programme Agrofood (YEP Agrofood) wil de professionaliteit en

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Kenya
Posted 1 month 3 days ago

Celebrating Horticulture Program Experiences

AgriProFocus Kenya in collaboration with Solidaridad, HIVOS and SNV brought together the Horticulture sector stakeholders to a dissemination forum on the Horticulture and Food Security Program (HFSP) on the 19th February 2015 at the Jacaranda Hotel, Nairobi.

HFSP was a 3 year program implemented by Solidaridad (Lead), SNV and Hivos. The program was funded by The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. AgriProFocus took the lead in the knowledge management component of the program. The program took the model of PPP and involved various private sector companies and farmer groups.

The aim of the dissemination forum was to share experiences, successes and challenges of the HFSP program. AgriProFocus on behalf of the program had compiled publications as well as audio visual materials documenting experiences within the program. The materials were unveiled by the Ambassador Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya H.E Joost Reinjtes.

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Nicole Metz Thanks for this very interesting update on the Horticultural Programme dissemination forum, AgriProFocus Kenya team (and Jillian in particular)! I am enjoying the different videos, and will also make sure the information is shared on the website of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform. As a platform, we are also developing work on the potential of the horticultural sector (see: and the Kenyan experiences are very valuable in that context. Best regards, Nicole

1 month 2 days ago 1

joseph wanguhu I have farmers groups(CIGs) and cooperative societies growing snow peas,sugarsnaps and garden peas for export. This forum was good though i never attended. Kindly invite/inform me of such fora in future through email How can we benefit from Agriprofocus in capacity building of farmers with respect to international export market requirements?

1 month 2 days ago 1

Jillian Kanaiza Makungu Dear Nicole, Thank you for the comment and thank you for sharing this.

4 weeks 19 hours ago

Jillian Kanaiza Makungu Hello Joseph, It is unfortunate you did not get the invitation but the same was posted on this platform a few days before the event and also through the newsletter feeds. I will include you in our mailing list so that you can get updates on upcoming events. About capacity building, we also hold focused group forums which the ministry and other bodies participate, it will be a great idea if you keep checking our events page so that you can get to attend and link to such bodies through such events.

4 weeks 19 hours ago

Kamusenene Investments Ltd Dear Jillian, Kindly help me to look for passion fruit seed variety KPF1, Am in Uganda i can be reached on +256(0)782678051 or +256 (0)0706153933 Ivan Lwanyaga- Managing Director Kamusenene Investments Ltd.

10 hours 25 min ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 1 month 5 days ago

A Well Consumed Business Drinks!

AgriProFocus Ethiopia, with ABSF and CiC, organized its first Business Drinks event yesterday at Black Rose Lounge. Some sixty members attend the event, and not only got the opportunity to broaden their respective network but also created new business relations with fellow members.

Members from a variety of background, ranging from agronomists, business development experts, entrepreneurs, consultants, producers, processors, suppliers, exporters, innovators, market researchers, as well as development workers happened to be in one place not just to meet and greet, but to learn what others have and to offer theirs.

Apart from allowing an informal introduction and discussion among members, the event also included a two minutes pitch where anyone interested can tell to all people what he/she has, offers or needs. In this part of the event nine members stand at the center and used the opportunity to introduce the product and services, as well as new innova

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 1 month 1 week ago


Third Call Winner Proposals Announced

ICCO Cooperation, which manages the FSRE Fund on behalf of AgriProFocus Ethiopia, announced nine (9) proposals that win the third call under the Innovation window.

As reported previously, 139 concept notes were submitted for this third call, and going through detailed selection process 20 of them were shortlisted. Today, nine (9) full proposals with respective value chains are announced as winners.

The Food Security and Rural Entrepreneurship Fund (FSRE Fund) is financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in Ethiopia. The Fund has two Windows: Matching Grant Funding (MGF) and Innovation Fund (IF). Under each window two Calls were out and in total 34 Projects from various sectors are being supported.

The value chain focus of this third call Innovation Fund is Horticulture, Potatoes, Poultry and Aquaculture (fish farming). Among the nine winner proposals four of them are on poultry, two on potato, one on aquaculture, one

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Rwanda
Posted 1 month 1 week ago

New partnerships to improve the "Agri-Finance" sector

The majority of the Rwandan population shares the same profession: farming. Most of these farmers lack access to financial services that could help them to develop their profession, buy the seeds, fertilizers, adopt new technologies, etc. This was the key concern of the recent "High Level Consultation Meeting on Access to Agricultural Finance" that took place at Top Tower Hotel on Friday, 13rd February 2015.

The meeting brought together 23 people mainly from financial institutions but also from NGOs and Government institutions. These people discussed together what can be achieved through the AgriProFocus network that could contribute to more access to finance by farmers while achieving each organization’s goals.

Yes Agriculture is often perceived as much riskier than other sectors, particularly by financial institutions but in the meeting it was proven that sometimes these financial institutions lack expertise on agriculture.

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Hedwig Bruggeman Great initiative, like to hear more and looking forward to the concrete next actions to match farmers and finance !

1 month 1 week ago 2

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Dear all,

As we are preparing our annual report of what the AgriProFocus network achieved last year we are looking add the enormous amount of positive feedback and recommendations we received on our appreciation and results survey.

For the third year in a row a growing number has shared their view and how they have benefitted (or not). Over 1600 respondents provided feedback (twice the number of the previous year).

Thanks to all who have taken the time to fill out the survey. With between 5 and 10 minutes to do the survey this is between 15 and 30 hours of your time!

Find attached a small resume of the data we collected. Our main conclusions are:

- Your continued strong response rate on survey shows strong commitment to the AgriProFocus network.

- Network services and relevance network are rated high and even better than in 2013. 3.3 on a scale of 4. Finance fairs, online platform and innovation communities are delivering clear benefits to network stakeholders.

- Benefits are als

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Dutch breweries investing in Ethiopia 

The Dutch news programme ‘Nieuwsuur’ of Saturday 31st January included an item on Dutch breweries’ investments in Ethiopia. (most text in Dutch, though some English and Amharic)

"The project is exactly what the Dutch government wants: combining trade and aid” says one interviewee.

The programme shows the new Ethiopian breweries of Heineken and Bavaria. Ethiopia is a grow market for beer; the two companies have the ambition to contribute to a higher beer consumption per capita. Different stakeholders are interviewed: representatives of the two companies, a representative of ICCO, a representative of the Dutch Embassy (Mr Hans van de Heuvel). The Embassy expects the investments to contribute to food security, generating income for farmers. 

 In my opinion, the programme could have been more informative if it had addressed challenging issues such as whether barley produc

... Read more

Nicole Metz See also an interesting blog (in Dutch only) about the practice of the Dutch breweries in several African countries to source locally. The author says that other private sector actors should follow the example of the breweries, purchasing more produce locally, as this contributes to more and better opportunities for local farmers.

1 month 5 days ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Interview of the Month (MUST READ)

With Desta Damena, the new FSRE Fund Manager

"1,400 jobs are created and the income of 11,189 individuals is improved. Moreover, the food security status of 15,000 farming households is improved."

If you have a few words with him, you will realize that he is the most humble person you have ever known. In any circumstance, he is very much ready to cooperate. Of course, his recently acquired responsibility, requires exactly that. Desta Damena has taken the responsibility of managing the Food Security and Rural Entrepreneurship Fund in November. In order to introduce him to our members as well as to hear updates on activities of the FSRE Fund, we have managed to make him our guest in this Interview of the Month. Enjoy Reading!

Can you please tell us about yourself?

I can say I am inborn agriculturalist:) with a very good understanding of the rural context. I was born and grown up in rural area. Though I am not an agriculturalist by profession, I am very passi

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Marion Alyek Good Job Gizaw! Desta was a very active member in the Uganda Food Security group! He is knowledgeable and will be a great asset to you!

1 month 2 weeks ago

Gizaw Legesse @Atnafu, Thank you very much for your comment; please keep on participating here as Desta said to all members. @Marion, yes he is an asset, I am glad to have him nearby!

1 month 2 weeks ago

Atnafu Woldegebriel thank you Dear Gizaw for you kind advice.

1 month 2 weeks ago

Shiferaw Tafesse This is great. Keep up the good work!

1 month 1 week ago

Sara Peeters Hi Desta, so nice to see you again. I enjoyed working with you in Lira with the Food Security Cluster. Hope to meet you soon in Addis, when I visit our partner Send a Cow and AKAM! Heifer Netherlands

1 month 1 week ago 1

Posted By in Testimonies
Posted 1 month 3 weeks ago

The new hub looks superb and looking forward to continue to have very positive links, discussions, contributions and meet ups which can be very beneficial. Through the hub my company managed to successfully get linked to an international investor. The experience was so empowering, got a lot of expert advise all the way step by step. Working through the hub has opened my understanding of many process of working with the communities at local and internationally creating successful value chains. It has been been very eye opening for me to even innovatively develop tools that apply to my immediate environment whilst fitting in the global environment.

I encourage all to positively participate, share and ask for any advise to make a better future for all globally. 

I also give gratitude to all that have been supportive through online platform and during the gatherings all around the world i have had opportunity to be part. 

Nchimunya Kasongo Hi Chibbonta, thank you for sharing your testimony with us :)

1 month 3 weeks ago 1

Anne Marie Kortleve Thanks Chibbonta for your encouraging words! The platform is still in development and we will continue to improve our services to our members on this platform in the coming months!

1 month 3 weeks ago 1

Claire van der Kleij Thank you for your response! And welcome to the new platform! We appreciate all your support over the years and look forward to continue working with you in 2015!

1 month 3 weeks ago 1

Chibbonta Chilala I am looking for some one who has knowledge on how to develop a farm from the scratch to help us organise what we plan to do in the rice and honey integrated with many other put through products from crop and livestock, this will include irrigation as main key of the development to sustain agriculture in the increasingly unstable rainfall climate.

1 month 2 weeks ago 1

Posted By in AgriProFocus Zambia
Posted 1 month 3 weeks ago

Improving Agricultural Finance in Africa:

In June 2011, during the conference organized by Making Finance Work Africa (MFW4A) Principles were established and agreement was reached on a common set of policy principles to improve agricultural finance in Africa. One of the conference outcomes is the synthesis report “Agricultural Finance Policy Coordination in Africa – lessons from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco and Zambia”. The outcomes of the five country case‑studies work, undertaken for the  Agricultural Finance Stakeholder Working Group (AFSWG), will enable country-level stakeholders to take well-informed decisions and action, to strengthen policy and its coordination through either existing or new agricultural finance policy coordinating bodies, and to provide the relevant background and orientation to the AFSWG for the advocacy/implementation phase envisaged in its scope of work.  Read the full report here.

Hedwig Bruggeman Thanks for the link, l a very relevant document indeed and good background for debate and discussion sessions during finance fairs

1 month 3 weeks ago 1

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 1 month 4 weeks ago

FSRE Fund Recipients Receiving Training

On Marketing and Contract Farming 

On 27th and 28th January, the Food Security and Rural Entrepreneurship Fund (FSRE Fund) recipient organizations are receiving a training on Marketing and Contract Farming at Dreamliner Hotel, Addis Ababa.

As the Fund Manager, Desta Damena, from ICCO Cooperation, spoke at the beginning of today’s session, it has been recognized that most of the recipients are facing marketing challenges in their respective value-chains. Moreover, a significant number of them are also with out-growers. Hence, the objective of the training is to support the organization in overcoming the market challenges they are facing and in enhancing their involvement with smallholder farmers in connection with contract farming.

Accordingly, the topic of the first day training was marketing, and Ayalew Abebe, Market Development Expert, explained various technics and methods of marketing for the participants. In the afternoon, all the part

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Rwanda
Posted 1 month 4 weeks ago

Launching the Book on Farm-Firm relations

On the 23rd January 2015, a new book: “It takes two to trade- A tool for understanding and improving farmer–firm relations in Africa”  written by experts from CDI/WUR, KIT and AgriProFocus, was launched at Umubano Hotel.  Hedwig Bruggeman, managing director of AgriProFocus, was proud to officially hand over the first book to the Minister of State for Agriculture of Rwanda (see picture).

‘It takes 2-2-Trade’ (formerly known as 2-2 tango) is a tool for the assessment and improvement of farmer-firm relations. 2-2-Trade focuses on bringing the most important perceived strengths and weaknesses of the relation between farmers and firms to the surface, by letting both groups score their perceptions on a number of topics.

The tool will become available online very soon. For more info you can check:

Full article can be found here:

Espérance Mukarugwiza It was a very interesting event!!! Companies and producer organisations will benefit from it

1 month 4 weeks ago 1

Rwenzori Greens Rwenzori Greens Ltd woow, we missed that, hope to get the details from any member who attend but promise not to miss any other meeting opportunity.

1 month 3 weeks ago 2

Jean-Marie Mbonyintwali Waouh! It's very interesting we have missed you very much but I that you were busy with very important issues! I wish I would have a copy of this Farm-Firm relations book. I guess the content is very interesting for us!

1 month 2 weeks ago

Daniel Ikaaba Its takes two to trade, very interesting tool to look at and pick out some guidelines on how to improve stakeholder relations.

3 weeks 7 hours ago 1