On 19 April 2017, AgriProFocus organized an exciting event where major stakeholders that have close relation with the topic of contract farming come together to attend an interesting panel discussion and to raise questions to practitioners, researchers and policy makers in Ethiopia.
The event marked the launch of a new book entitled “Contract Farming in Ethiopia: Concept and Practice” – written based on eight case studies by a number of practitioners and well-known consultants. The book is a result of a collaboration between various organizations and agricultural programs, all partners of the AgriProFocus network in Ethiopia. These include Agriterra, C4C, ENTAG, Fair & Sustainable Ethiopia, LANDac, SNV, and CIHEAM Bari (SupHort).
The case studies analyze the contract farming practices in different value chains and organization. These are: Malt Barley – Heineken Brewery, Chickpea – ACOS Ethiopia, Seed Potatoes – Solagrow, Sesame – Selet Hulling, Bamboo – African Bamboo, Green Beans – Ethio Flora, Passion Fruit – AfricaJUICE, and Sugarcane – Wonji Shoa Sugar Factory. The analysis of the eight different contract farming cases shows the diversity in design, in implementation and in terms of results for the contract partners. A key factor of success is the role of the interface between farmers and firm. This adds to the crucial role of cooperatives in Ethiopian agriculture.
It was planned for a representative from the Ethiopian Horticulture and Agricultural Investment Authority (the government organ directly responsible for contract farming) to officially launch and receive the book, though because of unexpected situation this couldn’t happened. However, the organizing committee has very much appreciated for it was notified earlier. As a result, Ato Ayele Gebreamlak, Director of Commercial and Contract Farming Program in Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), honored us by officially receiving the book. AgriProFocus is very grateful to Ato Ayele, not only for receiving the book, but also for his active participation in the event as one of the panelists.
As indicated above, the panel discussion was very interesting and fruitful. Four panelists from different organization and a variety of background experience led the panel discussion. The panelists were (From left to right in the picture below):
· Tarekegn Garomsa, Heineken Brewery, Local Sourcing Manager
· Gerrit Holtland, SNV Horti-LIFE, Program Director (former Country Coordinator of AgriProFocus Ethiopia)
· Ayele Gebreamlak, Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), Commercial and Contract Farming Program Director
· Gertjan Becx, Ethiopia Netherlands Trade for Agricultural Growth (BENEFIT-ENTAG), Program Manager
The panel discussion was based on three important questions. These are:
1. Development needs versus business reality: is contract farming a solution for rural development challenges?
2. Contract enforcement: Do you think contracts in contract farming should be enforced? Is contract enforcement desirable and/or feasible?
3. Sustainability of contract farming schemes: What can be done to make cooperatives (or other interface actors) more viable, and successfully play their role in contract farming schemes?
Watch the Panel Discussion
If you missed the event, don’t worry – Environmental Science students of Hope College contributed their support for the event by recording a video of the panel discussion.
The video has five parts. First, an introduction on contract farming in Ethiopia by Victor van der Linden of AgriProFocus Ethiopia who was also one of the editors of the book and the facilitator of the event. Second, panelists introducing their background in contract farming and responding to the first question above. Third, the panelists respond to the second discussion question. Fourth, panelists respond to the third discussion question. And finally, the fifth part has the involvement of participants from different organizations in question and answer with the panelists.
The new book was distributed to all the participants of the event, but the online version will be available soon – so that you will also have it.
More pictures of the event will be posted on our Facebook page @AgriProFocusEthiopia