Promoting Farmer Entrepreneurship


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Header photo: Creative Commons, Neil Palmer (CIAT)

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 5 days 3 hours 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 days 6 hours ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 1 week 1 day 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

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Kenya
Posted 1 week 1 day 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 week 1 day 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 week 23 hours ago 1

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

4 days 6 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 days 6 hours ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 1 week 3 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

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 2 weeks 42 min 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

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Rwanda
Posted 2 weeks 1 day 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 !

2 weeks 22 hours ago 2

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 3 weeks 3 days 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

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 3 weeks 5 days 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

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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 week 4 days ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 3 weeks 5 days 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!

3 weeks 5 days 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!

3 weeks 4 days ago

Atnafu Woldegebriel thank you Dear Gizaw for you kind advice.

3 weeks 4 days ago

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

2 weeks 5 days 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 week 6 days ago 1

Posted By in Testimonies
Posted 4 weeks 23 hours 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 :)

4 weeks 7 hours 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!

4 weeks 6 hours 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!

4 weeks 4 hours 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.

3 weeks 9 hours ago 1

Posted By in AgriProFocus Zambia
Posted 1 month 2 days 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 2 days ago 1

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 1 month 4 days 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 5 days 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 days 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.

4 weeks 1 day ago 1

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!

3 weeks 3 days ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 1 month 1 week ago

AgriProFocus Core Group up-date!


A big part of the AgriProFocus team is gathering in Gisenyi, Rwanda. We discuss many important topics for our network. Yesterday we discussed one of our global themes: access to finance for agri-preneurs. All our country networks are working on this topic, for example by organising Finance Fairs. If you want to know more, visit our global Finance page.

Our colleague Nicole Metz presented the Food and Business Knowledge Platform. The Food and Business Knowledge Platform is one of the five Knowledge Platforms initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There is one platform for each of the main themes of Dutch development policy. Food security, the theme of the F&BKP, is one of them. Nicole explained the Applied Research Fund, this fund provides grants to applied research contributing to innovation for food security and private sector development in the 15 partner countries of Dutch development cooperation. All research is jointly

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Guylaine Mwamini Thanks Anne for the up date.but the link to visit for more information don't open. Regards

1 month 1 week ago

Anne Marie Kortleve Thanks for noticing Guylaine! I have fixed the link,please visit:

1 month 6 days ago

Joackim Kessy Thanks Anne, will appreciate to share the proceedings. I am the CEO and founder of Agriculture and Innovations Microfinance Company, based in Tanzania (AIM). We are interested partner in financing. You may visit our website Regards

1 month 5 days ago 1

Anne Marie Kortleve Hi Joackim, welcome on our platform! Are you in contact with our colleagues from AgriProFocus Tanzania?

1 month 5 days ago

Joackim Kessy Yes Anne I am in contact with Catherine!

1 month 4 days ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 1 month 1 week ago

The AgriProFocus team has arrived in Rwanda! A full week of exchanging experiences, learning from eachother, making plans for the future, launching our new 2-2-trade book and many more things!

For now we proudly present to you our Core Group, from old to newest colleagues. Starting with Hedwig Bruggeman, our managing director,  who was at the start of AgriProFocus almost 10 years ago, to our newest colleague Rolf Schinkel, Network Facilitator for Burundi, DRC and Uganda, who joined us only 2 weeks ago :)

Matovu Abu Please do keep us posted

1 month 1 week ago 1

Wagianto Wagianto Hello Bu Dania, how are you? Don't forget to bring the souvenirs :)

1 month 1 week ago 1

TOTIN Henri :Président J' ai pu reconnaitre mon la gauche vers la droite il est en 13ème position..

1 month 1 week ago

Bonyo Buogha When for Kenya?

1 month 6 days ago

MULINDWA RONNIE A big round of applause goes to the team.

1 month 5 days ago 1


AgriProFocus Annual Core Group Meeting

Event posted by Anne Marie Kortleve in AgriProFocus International
  19 January 2015 - 09:00 to 23 January 2015 - 17:00

From January 19th until the 23th a big part of the AgriProFocus team will come together in Gisenyi, Rwanda for our annual meeting! We have a lot to discuss: what are our plans for this year (exchange on our Annual Plans), what is our business plan for the future, sharing our success stories, how do we engage more with our members, how to further develop the online platformetc.

Colleagues from 11 African countries and Indonesia will join, including staff from the Support Office in Arnhem. A special moment!

During the week, we will update you,our online members, with the progress made.

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago


Laurent ULIMUBENSHI Tkx a lot, Wishing you all a fruitfully 2015!

2 months 1 week ago 1

TOTIN Henri :Président Félicitation à toute l'équipe et plus de luttes Vertes pour 2015

2 months 5 hours ago

Emmanuel Kabaale Thanks

1 month 3 weeks ago

Adrian Austin test

1 month 2 weeks ago

NATHAN MWANGI KARIUKI wishing you the best in the new year

1 month 2 weeks ago 1

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

A Network Day that Served the Name

The Agri-ProFocus Ethiopia Annual Network Day

Today, Agri-ProFocus Ethiopia successfully organized the 2014 Annual Network Day which happens to be exactly the name indicates. Over 100 members of Agri-ProFocus Ethiopia gathered at Ghion Hotel, Addis Ababa, to share what they have and to learn what their co-members have been doing, and “this, we should have more often” was the common saying of the day.

What happened?

  • Dr. B. Minten, from IFPRI, opened the event and warmed the audience with his well-presented research on agricultural developments, especially in Teff value-chain. His presentation initiated a wider discussion; the audience forwarded a number of interesting questions and additions which he responded in detail.
  • Post Harvesting Technology was one of the best experiences shared at the event. This is one of the many projects GOAL Ethiopia is engaged on. In fact, this particular project is funded by the Embas

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Yelleka de Nooy van Tol Gizaw, you did a great job, and the pictures and summary area good representation of the day

2 months 2 weeks ago

Kebede Dhuga Chaka Gizaw. It is nicely compiled report. It covers the events of the day.

2 months 2 weeks ago

Gerrit Holtland Many thanks Gizaw, Jelleke and Seble. The event was well prepared, and so is this concise report about it. I enjoyed it.

2 months 2 weeks ago

Didier MUYIRAMYE good job Gizaw...thumbs up!!

2 months 2 weeks ago

Miressa Belay Dibaba Dear Gizew, really you doing an immense job. Go ahead!!.

2 months 2 weeks ago 1

Posted By in Expert Meeting Sustainable Agriculture
Posted 2 months 3 weeks ago

Report - AgriProFocus Expert Meeting on Sustainable Agriculture & Value Chains

Now available on this website: the final report of the AgriProFocus Expert meeting Vision 2030: Making current approaches work for sustainable agriculture. How can agro-ecology and other approaches support farmers to feed the world sustainably by 2030? 

During the meeting, participants shared a sense of urgency to support the further greening of agriculture in the context of the combined global food, environmental and climate challenges. It became clear that different approaches to greening agriculture (agro-ecology, climate-smart agriculture, the landscape approach, etc.) all have their merits. Greening of agriculture needs a multi-scale and multi-stakeholder approach in which public sector, civil society, companies and knowledge institutions all have a role to play, with a special focus on entrepreneurial farmers producing for local and regional food markets. Whereas producers, consumers and

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus
Posted 2 months 4 weeks ago

So delighted to know about the existence of what is known as network facilitator/network country coordinator and  coordination team.  As such, will appreciate to know who or which team facilitates interested parties from Tanzania for ease of other operation issues.

Ben Lutta

Anne Marie Kortleve Hi Ben, you can find all the information on Tanzania: Actually, you can search in our search-bar on top and you probably find what you need. Good luck!

2 months 4 weeks ago